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Coley's selection headache

21 September 2017

John Coleman admits he's been given food for thought by the performances from his fringe players during Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy win.

The manager made 10 changes on Tuesday and the Reds beat Middlesbrough U21's 3-2, handing debuts to Erico Sousa and Callum Johnson.

Scott Brown and Mallik Wilks got themselves on the scoresheet and Coleman admits he now has a selection headache on his hands ahead of Saturday's visit of 21st place Cheltenham.

"It's going to be difficult to pick a bench let alone a starting 11," he said. "I think they all made cases to be asking me the question on Saturday.

"It's a tough decision to leave someone like Scotty [Brown] out of the side, he came in the other night and I thought he was fantastic, Callum [Johnson] had a good game too and he's chomping at the bit for more first team action.

"If you speak to any manager they'll tell you that they'd rather have too much than too little, I think we've got strength in depth in every area now."

Liam Nolan grabbed an injury time winner on Tuesday and the midfielder has been a regular since arriving in the summer but Coleman insists the 23-year-old's bright start at Stanley is no surprise to him.

"Liam's had plenty of good games for us so far," said Coleman. "He's still learning and still adapting to the way that we play, he's got a great attitude towards the game and he's a very talented footballer.

"He's somebody I've known about for a long time, we could have got him last year but he went and had a good season in non-league with Southport and I think that's stood him in good stead."

Coleman also provided an update on injured duo goalkeeper Max Stryjek (hamstring) and defender Ben Richards-Everton (shoulder).

"Unfortunately Max has had a bit of a setback," he added. "He's going to be staying up at Sunderland for the next week or so which is a blow.

"But Ben isn't far away now, we're hoping to have him involved in training by early next week, it will good to have him back in the fold and competing for a first team place."


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