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Coley: Luckily our players kept their head

Stanley's manager discusses the 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town

4 September 2019

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman was pleased with both how his players played but also how they kept their discipline during the 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town in the Trophy.

Stanley seucred the win through second half goals from Wilson Carvalho and Sean McConville, and Coleman admitted that he was happy to get the win but disappointed to concede a late penalty.

"I was pleased with the way we played, we had to keep our discipline, the game was in danger of getting out of control and luckily our players kept their head.

"We played some good football, we're disappointed to concede at the end, we felt we could have had three penalties in the game and we get one given against us which is hard to take, but we won the game and that's what we set out to do."

There were multiple strong challenges from both sides during the first half, including a horrific challenge from Fleetwood's Harrison Biggins on Sean McConville, which saw him receive his marching orders, and Coleman feels as though the challenges from Lamine Kaba Sherif were completely fair.

"One of their lads has gone off injured, but it was a good tackle by our player, he hasn't give a foul and he's won the ball, and he's caught him on the follow through, he hasn't done it deliberately, I know Lammy hasn't got a malicious bone in his body.

"Sometimes you get injured in this game just by a freak of nature, a freak accident, there was no malice in the tackle and he won the ball clean.

"I don't know whether that's a by-product of them feeling aggrieved, we had some horrendous decisions go against us in the game at the weekend but we told our lads you've got to keep focus and I don't know whether Biggins has decided to take the law into his own hands, but it's a horrendous challenge on McConville and you can't tackle like that in football.

"He hasn't made any attempt for the ball, he's just gone for the man, and if you go for the man then you ultimately get what you deserve."

The two sides recently played each other in the league during which McConville was also shown a red card for an altercation with Ched Evans, and Stanley's manager explained how that is now in the past for himself and his players.

"There's no retribution on our part, we know that and I had it confirmed by the head of the referees that it should have been two yellows or two reds, so you know Evans was very fortunate not to be sent off in the league game, but you know that's gone now and it's history.

"There's no point moaning about it, we get on with the game.

"I hope they do well this season, but we've got to look after ourselves, and I'm pleased with the way our lads didn't react."

Coleman made seven changes to the team and gave debuts to a couple of players, with the manager heaping praise on Carvalho, who opened the scoring, and young goalkeeper Toby Savin, who was making his professional debut.

"It's a great goal, it took a little bit of a deflection but we've passed the ball.

"There's players waiting in the wings who have been desperate for an opportunity, young Toby has walked away with the champagne and the man of the match award and he'll come on leaps and bounds.

"He's a cracking talent and I wouldn't rule out him getting international recognition."

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