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'Newport have a point to prove': Coleman

23 April 2018

John Coleman is not expecting an easy game when Accrington Stanley take on Newport County at Rodney Parade tomorrow night.

The Reds have won 13 games in their 15-match unbeaten run, knowing that just a single point on Tuesday would see them crowned champions of Sky Bet League Two.

Newport have won only once in their previous nine home fixtures, but the Stanley boss does not subscribe to the theory that the hosts have little to play for at this stage of the season.

“They'll feel as if they've got a point to prove,” said Coleman about Tuesday evening's opponents. “Their manager was a bit critical of them after Saturday, so they'll look to put that to the back of their minds and we are expecting a backlash.

“Teams have always got things to play for and footballers, by their very nature, want to win games because they're competitive. We are expecting a hard-fought game, but I know that I wouldn't want to be going into this game with anyone else but the players that I've got in my squad.

“We know that as long as we get ourselves right then we've got a good chance. We know we're in good form, and we know we're playing well. We'll take care of ourselves and not worry about the opposition.”

Coleman was pleased with his team's performance against Wycombe at the weekend, following Stanley's four-nil win away from home, and was satisfied to have proved wrong anyone who still doubted his squads ambition.

“I'm pleased with any win, and to win away from home is even more special, but to win in the manner that we did, by 4 goals away at Wycombe, is brilliant,” said Coleman.

“Some people had it in their minds that we would relax once we'd got promoted, but that was never going to be the case. We've drilled into the players that they've got to keep going and keep fighting for 3 points.

“We're still answerable to our fans and we owe them a performance. If you've got four or five-hundred Accrington supporters giving up their time and money to come and watch us away from home, then the least we can do is have a go for them.”

The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw when Newport visited the Wham Stadium in November but have been beaten just once since the turn of the year.

The gaffer feels that both sides are different from the last time they met and is hoping to clinch the league crown at Rodney Parade.

Coleman said: “Both teams have changed, both mentally and physically.

“We haven't got the greatest of records against Newport, and we possibly should have won that game at home. We lost at their place last season which was very disappointing because that probably ended our play-off hopes. It would be nice to go there and win the title after what happened last year.

"I want to win the league first and foremost. That is my main objective. We've got ourselves into a wonderful position to do that and it would be a shame to throw that away.”


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