Date: 20th September 2013 at 9:41pm
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Manager James Beattie has said that Accrington Stanley have to get on the front foot when we face Rochdale tomorrow.

Accrington are still looking for the first league win of the season as we find ourselves rooted to the bottom of the table having only picked up one point from our opening seven fixtures, and Beattie is looking for us to step it up a gear when we face our local rivals and to learn from the lessons we were taught about starting slowly and sitting back in the 2-1 defeat to Hartlepool in our last league encounter.

Speaking to the Official Site ahead of tomorrow’s kick off, the manager admitted that our performance against Hartlepool simply wasn’t up the standards that we had set ourselves so far this season – even though results are yet to go for us – but he towards the end of the game he was becoming more pleased as we got back to our normal selves.

The task against Rochdale is to start in that vein though, and play like that consistently for the whole 90 minutes.

‘I asked them why they couldn’t start like that and there was no reason. It’s just a case of changing the mindset of how they approach the game and get them playing like that from the word go.’

Beattie says that fitness and tiredness shouldn’t be an issue at this stage, because the players are fit and healthy and we have been finishing games strongly, even though we’ve been losing, the task for him is to flip that around, so we don’t find ourselves behind early on or with a mountain to climb when we do finally get into our best stride.

If we can approach matches like that he can do more from the bench because if players tire from their efforts around the 60 minute mark, he can freshen things up to help us see out the match by using the players on the bench. Not only will they be fresh and add new impetus to the game if we are tiring as a group, but obviously as they come from the bench they’ll have a point to prove themselves as they’ll be trying to impress.

If we look back to last season in the second half of the season, a 3-0 victory over Rochdale helped boost confidence and propel us to a run of reasonable results that kept us clear of the bottom to avoid relegation, and Beattie is hoping that if we can gain a similar result this weekend, it can push Accrington on to actually kick starting their season properly.

He adds he can’t fault the players commitment or efforts, but we do need to be better, and this is exactly the game to be better in.

‘This is a home game, it’s a local derby and we need to approach the game with a winning mentality. They’ve been training well and I hope they can translate that into the game and get us that victory that we deserve and that we need.’

Beattie obviously knows that the match isn’t going to be easy. Keith Hill is a tough operator and he’s got Rochdale performing more like he would want them to after returning to the club last season as they’ve won three of their opening seven, losing only two, so their form is pretty good and we have a challenge ahead of us – but if you don’t believe you can overcome challenges you shouldn’t be in this game should you.