John Coleman is looking forward to taking on Macclesfield tomorrow in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages - but is sad to see his friend Mark Yates out of work.
Yates took over at newly-promoted League Two side Macclesfield in the summer but parted company with the Silkmen today as they haven't yet won a game and are bottom of the league.
Assistant managers Danny Whitaker and Neil Howarth have taken over for Stanley's group opener in the cup competition tomorrow.
"Mark is a good lad, it's always going to be tough. I remember when we were promoted from the Conference into the Football League, no one expected it, and it is difficult as you are punching above your weight," said Coleman.
"I know what a difficult job it can be first hand and I am sorry to see Mark go. I have had Macclesfield watched and they are not a bad side. Players may now raise their game tomorrow so we know it will be tricky."
Coleman is a supporter of the Checkatrade Trophy.
"I like it. I do not see why people slate it. For me, it gives me a chance to get players game-time under their belts and it's a realistic way for us of getting to Wembley, we are one of just two clubs who haven't played there in the Football League.
"The prize money is also healthy, perhaps not for the higher placed teams, but for clubs like us and Macclesfield it can make a difference.
"For Under 21 teams, it's a chance to play against men. Playing in Academy games can sometimes be like a cocoon so it's a good game for them.
"You only have to ask Lincoln fans if they enjoyed the Checkatrade Trophy last season. It's a realistic chance for us to go to Wembley."
Newcastle loan striker Luke Charman has recovered from a niggle and could play a part tomorrow against Macc.
Blackpool and West Brom Under 21s are also in Stanley's group.
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