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Coley: Big Wembley chance

Manager looks ahead to Trophy clash with Bolton

9 December 2019

John Coleman knows that Stanley’s 7-1 victory over Bolton in League One a couple of weeks ago may give Wanderers an extra incentive to try and see off the Reds in the Trophy tomorrow night.

Keith Hill’s side were down to ten-men early on but Stanley were ruthless that day. Bolton bounced back this weekend with a 2-2 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon while the Reds drew 1-1 at Tranmere on Saturday.

The two meet in the last 32 of the competition, with £20,000 up for grabs for the winners, with the game going straight to penalties if it’s tied after 90 minutes. The winners will travel to Fleetwood Town in the last 16.

“It will be a really tough game,” said Coleman. “They had a decent result on Saturday, coming from behind, and both teams will want to progress in this competition. £20,000 is a massive bonus for us if we win and it’s a great chance for both teams to get to Wembley.

“The past result won’t have any bearing on this game, in fact it may give more motivation to them, I know myself when you have been in those situations, but it is what it is. We won’t think about that game and just concentrate on this one.

“We know they have good players, we have as well, and you need a bit of luck, and it should be a good game.”

The Reds started well against Tranmere and created a host of chances but only made one count early on – Sean McConville’s 18th minute tap-in. Rovers grew into the game and levelled before the break with neither side able to find the winner.

“I have watched it again and a draw was probably fair. We started well but did not carry it on. It didn’t help losing Sean (McConville) to injury just before half-time and that’s not to decry Joe Pritchard as he did well, it’s just Sean gives us a different dimension. Joe did magnificently defensively but, for the chances we created, we should have done better with them.

“A couple of months ago we would probably have lost this game but we did see it out professionally.”

McConville is having a scan on his shoulder today – it’s the other shoulder to the one which sidelined him earlier on in the season.

Seamus Conneely is back after suspension while midfielder Sam Finley could be back after illness.

“We have got a healthy competitive squad, players are playing who weren’t involved a couple of months ago and have done well and it’s a chance for them to stake a claim for the shirt. We know that, if they do well, then they will keep the shirt,” added Coleman.

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