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Wycombe's a huge game: Coley

10 December 2015

John Coleman says the Wycombe game is a huge test of Stanley's promotion credentials as they look to bounce back after the FA Cup loss at Portsmouth.

Gareth Ainsworth's side lost the League Two play-off final last season and are currently in ninth place in the league – five points behind fourth place Stanley.

The Reds have won four of their last five league games – and drawn the other – and now need to put last Saturday's cup defeat at Fratton Park behind them.

“Saturday's game is the biggest test of our credentials so far this season and, on the back of the defeat, it has added spice,” said Coleman.

“There is a lot of spotlight on us now to see how we react to that defeat and Wycombe is a massive game.

“We are not going to be able to surprise teams anymore. I think we could the first seven or eight games but now teams know the style of football we play and how effective it can be.

“Portsmouth did a job on us and it worked for them on Saturday. There is no guarantee it will work again as they had a lot of things in their favour but you have got to take your hat off to Paul Cook, his game-plan worked.

“Now we have got to step up to the plate and our focus is Wycombe and on how we approach this game. We need to open teams up, particularly at home, and adapt our game at times to how teams play against us. We have played against all kinds of formations so far this season and been flexible and we do need to continue to adapt to any system and style of play we encounter.

“It will be a tough game, Gareth Ainsworth has done a great job there and they will be one of the favourites to go up but they will be expecting a tough game from us.”

Coleman knows the conditions will play their part during the winter months.

“It is tricky with the weather as you prepare for the game and, at the drop of a hat with a sudden downpour, it can be postponed but it's something you have to deal with.

“The weather means pitches are not conducive to our passing football but history tells us we can play on difficult surfaces – take the play-off season – and it's about instilling that belief into the players.”

Dean Winnard will see a specialist this week with his ankle problems while Seamus Conneely is a doubt for Saturday's game with a groin injury.


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