ACCRINGTON Stanley need to find their shooting boots ahead of tonight's trip to Gillingham, that's the view of Reds assistant manager Jimmy Bell.

Stanley were beaten 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round by Derby County on Saturday having seen Dan Barlaser sent off early in the second half.

The defeat was tough for boss John Coleman to take with the Reds manager apologising on Sunday for some of his post-match comments about referee Jon Moss.

Stanley must put the hard luck story out of their minds ahead of the long trip south to take on a Gills side who also exited the FA Cup on Saturday, losing 4-1 to Swansea City.

Both sides are looking over their shoulders in League One with Stanley without a win in four to slip to 15th, five points clear of the bottom four while the Gills are four points worse off in 19th.

Only bottom of the table Wimbledon and third bottom Bristol Rovers have scored fewer league goals than Stanley this term and Bell knows that must change if the Reds are to climb the table.

"We need to start scoring goals," he said. "It’s seven out of the last 10 league games where we haven’t scored and we have got to find our shooting boots, hitting the target more regularly and getting into good positions.

“I am sure with the calibre of players we have here we will turn it around sooner rather than later but it is a problem at the moment and if you do not score, you do not win.

“We have competition for places up front with the addition of Luke Armstrong and Paul Smyth and the four up front will all push each other.

“But it’s not just about those four, Mark Hughes, Ross Sykes and Callum Johnson have all had chances as well.

“I have noticed in this league that a lot more goals are scored from set-pieces, there are a higher percentage, and that means the defenders can play a big part in scoring goals as well.”

The Reds will be forced into at least one change from the cup tie with Barlaser joining central midfield partner Sam Finley on the suspended list.

That is likely to mean Seamus Conneely and Scott Brown will be paired together in the middle of the park while Liam Nolan has returned to the club following a loan spell at National League side Salford City.

The Gills beat Stanley on the opening day of the season and Bell is keen to avoid a repeat as the Reds try to ensure they are not caught up in a relegation dogfight.

“This is a lot bigger than Derby in the FA Cup,” added Bell, speaking to the club's website.

“This is a massive game for us, it’s about getting away from the bottom four as quickly as we can.

“We do not want to get drawn into a relegation battle so this is a big game in terms of that.

“When they played us at the start of the season, I think Gillingham deserved the win. They had pace and power and did well against us."