John Coleman says his players can’t be viewing their games in hand, or run of home fixtures, as ‘a safety net’ in their battle to beat the drop.

Stanley host Lancashire neighbours Fleetwood Town tomorrow, the first of six remaining home matches in their last nine games.

Coleman’s side are two points above the dropzone, but have up to two games in hand on several of their rivals in what is a packed bottom half of the table. From Gillingham in 12th, to third bottom Rochdale, there are just six points between them.

Two more managers in the relegation mix lost their jobs this week, and Coleman admits the pressure is magnified.

But he doesn’t subscribe to the final two months of the season being ‘the business end’, or that Stanley can afford to relax given their games in hand after recent postponements.

Asked what he thought would be the magic points total to secure safety, Coleman said: “I wouldn’t have a clue, I’m not trying to think about anything but the game at hand.

“We have spoken to the players and said that although people think we have the most games to play gives us a safety net, we have got away from that idea.

“We have to take each game as if it’s a cup final, I know it’s a cliché, but we have to treat every game like this is the one that will keep us up.

“If you don’t do that then your mind can wander to other things and you lose focus on what you have to do in the immediate.”

Stanley’s early season points haul has kept them free of trouble for much of the season, but wins have proven hard to come by in 2019.

“It is (magnified), but the business end of the season is the whole season,” the Reds boss added.

“The points are no different from September to April. People have perceptions and you can’t always alter people’s perception.

“You want to try and achieve a total of points that keeps you up.

“There are probably 13 or 14 clubs that could easily fall through that trap door. You are battling away with them.”

High-flying Sunderland are due at the Wham Stadium on Wednesday, but having taken four points from the same number of consecutive home matches between February 19 and March 5, Coleman is taking nothing for granted.

“We only took four points from our last four home games. If we can take eight points from the next four that might give us a chance of staying up,” he explained.

“We are just looking at the first one and then whatever after that, happens.

“It doesn’t change your thinking. We want to win every game we play and set out to win every game we play. We don’t try and think too far ahead.”