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Club News

Just another game for Coleman

15 February 2019

John Coleman is treating Stanley's trip to Sunderland just like any other League One fixture.

The Reds make the trip to the Stadium of Light to take on Jack Ross' side this evening, on the hunt for their first league win of 2019.

Despite an increase in media attention, with the 7.45pm kick-off being televised live on Sky Sports, the Stanley boss is not daunted by the prospect of taking his team to Wearside.

"They're a big club who not so long ago were in the Premiership," said Coleman. "But they're not the only club who are plying their trade at this level, or indeed lower, who have played there.

"People will make a lot of it as the archetypal, David v Goliath, big club/small club story, but we just think it's two teams playing each other in a league game.

"Obviously it's a big stadium and you'd expect your players to respond to the fact that they're playing in front of a big crowd, and appearing on TV, but when you boil it down it's still 11 v 11 and that's what we've got to focus on."

Stanley have failed to score in their previous five games in all competitions, and are searching for their first league goal of the year.

The Reds manager has previously admitted that the lack of goals is a concern, but says that focusing solely on the issue will not necessarily help.

"My job is to try and take the pressure off the players. If we start beating ourselves up over not scoring it becomes the main focus of what you do. People tense up and you end up almost making it a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Coleman.

"We've got to try and put it to the back of our minds, try and relax more on the pitch and try to enjoy the game for what it is. We've got to try and enjoy being footballers and playing football.

"If you're all tensed up then you don't really enjoy things, so it's a balance between relaxing the players but not making them give up caring. We've got to try and take the pressure off them while still making them realise the enormity of trying to win games.

"We've worked hard this week on various things, not just finishing, as it's about attention to detail. Getting the players to think more about their game, and we're trying to get back to enjoying it a bit more.

"With anything you do in life, if you enjoy it, you're going to do it better."


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