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One eye on next season: Coley

12 March 2015

John Coleman is already looking ahead as he plans to launch a League Two play-off push next season.

Seven of the current squad are under contract for the 2015/16 campaign – Dean Winnard, Josh Windass, James Gray, Terry Gornell, Andy Procter, Seamus Conneely and Matt Crooks – while the club have an option to extend keeper Andy Dawber's contract for another year.

"We have to have half an eye on next year,” said the Reds boss, with his 15th placed side currently 11 points off the top seven. “We'll be speaking to players who are currently here, and players who aren't currently here, trying to get ahead of the game.

“With the best will in the world, we're not going to be able to go out and outbid teams so we've got to try to do our business before the end of the season really and try to formulate the basis of a squad that can challenge.”

Coleman admits he is a fan of a regular starting XI – he is not a ‘tinkerman'.

"I'm not one of these who believes in resting players for games, or rotating squads. I don't buy into that,” said Coleman.

"I know people say the game's moved on but Liverpool won the league playing 42 league games as well as the cup games and I think they used 13 or 14 players, so that squashes that argument for me.

"I think players benefit from playing, especially the younger players as they learn game knowledge by playing games.

"I think the more settled a side you can get, the better it is - when we got into the play-offs I think we used the same team for 10 games on the bounce.

"You've got to be lucky with injuries and suspensions for that, but I certainly wouldn't be resting my players because I think they're tired.”

Coleman has taken some stick from fans for not making substitutes but the Reds boss says that's his job to make these decisions as he knows his players.

“People often talk about a reluctance to use substitutions when players are getting tired but you've got to balance that with, when a system's working, you don't want to change it for the sake of changing it because you think they're getting tired.

"Players should be able to play 90 minutes, it's their job.”


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