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Conneely: We enjoy playing in front of bigger crowds

Stanley captain Seamus Conneely looks ahead to the Boxing Day clash with Blackpool

23 December 2019


Conneely: We enjoy playing in front of bigger crowds

Stanley captain Seamus Conneely looks ahead to the Boxing Day clash with Blackpool

23 December 2019

Accrington Stanley captain Seamus Conneely is looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd when the Reds face Blackpool on Boxing Day.

Stanley come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away at Doncaster Rovers, and Conneely thinks that the draw at the Keepmoat Stadium highlights the desire the team possesses.

"Mark Hughes brought it up in the dressing room that about two months ago, we'd have probably lost that game.

"We'd have gone behind for one reason or another and felt sorry about ourselves, but I thought you saw a desire in the team even though we did suffer a setback.

"The lads didn't let their heads drop, we continued doing what we were doing and thankfully we were able to grab an equaliser.

"I thought we deserved at least a point from the game and at last we seem to be getting the results, scoring the goals and climbing the table."

Substitute Offrande Zanzala has been credited with the late equaliser against Doncaster, but Conneely is adamant that the goal should have been his.

"It was my goal, Ozzy's adamant it's his goal but as far as I'm concerned I got a touch on it on the line.

"Sean McConville had the best view of it on the line after taking the corner and he says it was my goal.

"I don't think the video evidence can be conclusive, we need the Sky Sports goal-line technology.

"I only get one goal a year and he's taken it off me."

The 31-year-old would have grabbed the winner had it not been for Doncaster's Seny Dieng, but Stanley's captain was full of praise for the Rovers goalkeeper.

"I thought the goalkeeper might get a fingertip to it but I didn't know if he'd got enough to turn it around the post and thankfully for him, he was at full stretch and it's a great save to turn it around the post.

"I thought it might have been the winner but it wasn't to be."

Stanley's away trip to Doncaster was the start of the festive period for the Reds, and Conneely knows that the busy schedule over Christmas can be crucial come the end of the season.

"It's very busy and it's very demanding on your body because there's very little recovery time but it's nothing new, it's what you expect.

"Everyone knows that Christmas is a busy time for football teams and it can also be a very important time because in the space of a week you can shoot right up the table.

"However, if you have a bad run then teams are going to jump above you because the games come thick and fast and you need to be prepared."

The Reds are currently unbeaten in the last five games and Conneely hopes the team can maintain that form into the New Year.

"You always want to be on a good run and I think that finally we seem to be hitting our stride and performances have improved.

"We've been scoring goals and we've been solid defensively, so it is good to go into a busy stretch of games in a good run.

"Hopefully we can maintain that form into the New Year."

There is expected to be a big crowd at Bloomfield Road on Boxing Day and Stanley's captain is looking forward to the atmosphere within the stadium.

"I think historically and certainly since I've been here, when we go to these big grounds then we rise to the occasion and we enjoy playing in front of bigger crowds and showing what we can do.

"I think a lot of fans are often taken back by little Accrington Stanley, but we are able to hold our own and we play the game in the right way.

"We're physical when we need to be but we can get the ball down and pass it, I think that's a reflection of a John Coleman, Jimmy Bell and John Doolan side.

"I'm looking forward to the atmosphere, we always bring a big crowd and it'll be even better because we're playing on Boxing Day, so it should make for a good game."

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