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INTERVIEW: Coley on tomorrow's game with MK Dons

'There are areas we need to improve' says Reds boss

4 December 2020

John Coleman’s Accrington Stanley side may have gone six Sky Bet League One games unbeaten but the manager still wants improvements from his squad.

The Reds take on MK Dons tomorrow at home in a rich vein of form with four victories and two draws in their last six league games while Russell Martin’s men have won their last four away games in all competitions.

Ninth-placed Stanley drew 2-2 with Shrewsbury midweek and needed a 95th minute goal to rescue a point.

“I have mixed emotions at Shrewsbury,” said Coleman. “At the end, we were relieved to get a point but there was a blatant penalty on Dion Charles and it would have been a sending off as well and we would have been playing against 10-men for 12 minutes and hopefully going 2-1 up with the pen.

“You speak to the Referees’ Association about it and they agree with you. It’s an obvious error, people say they even themselves out but they don’t. However, we have just got to get on with it.

“There were a couple of incidents in the game, Shaun Whalley went clean through for them and he wasn’t off-side and the linesman flagged so I  guess mistakes go both ways but when they are as blatant and obvious as that and have such a dramatic effect, it’s hard to take.

“Having said that we went 2-1 down and then to come back and show the character we did, the overall feeling is relief and you take a point and move on.”

Despite being on the unbeaten run, Coleman’s side have drawn two of their last three encounters.

“You get to the point where you would sooner win one and lose on than draw two so I don’t subscribe to unbeaten runs as such.

“I know it can boost confidence and I get that but it’s all about points and you have to try and get as many points on board as possible.

“In the cold light of day against Shrewsbury, our performance didn’t probably merit more than a point so we have got to improve.

“We know we are capable of improving and we showed snap shots in the game of being very good, making chances and carving them open and then other times we were sloppy with the ball, we gave the ball away and invited pressure onto ourselves.

“We are still a work in progress, we have been saying that for a couple of weeks, and I know the lads have got the appetite to improve and won’t be done for effort.

“We are in a better position than I thought we would be after a couple of games but we still have to work harder to improve even further.

“We’ve got to improve our ball retention, there are too many games where we are coming off second best on our possession stats, I know football is not all about possession, you have to score goals.

“I think we can be more clinical in front of goal as well, we have made a lot of chances but not taken them and sometimes they can come back to haunt you.”

He knows the 17th placed MK Dons will be a danger with Cameron Jerome and Scott Fraser their top scorers with five goals each.

“They have won two from last five and they have both been away against good sides in Sunderland and Charlton.

“I’ve watched a lot of MK Dons and, when they were near bottom, I was telling everyone what a good side they were so it’s no surprise to me they have been winning games.

“They play great football, maybe too expansive at times, but they are a side who are great to watch sand when they get it right they are good.”

Meanwhile, Coleman can’t wait for the fans to be back at the Wham Stadium, after experiencing the return of the Shrewsbury fans on Tuesday night.

“It was good having fans back, it’s still not the same as they are not altogether singing and dancing and I don’t think you can replicate what we get on the Clayton End. When they are in full voice, they definitely make a difference.”

Mo Sangare is out while Ross Sykes should return to training next week after an ankle operation.

Meanwhile, Coleman was happy with the EFL Rescue package, where League One clubs should get a minimum of £375,000.

“I think any help you get is welcomed, I think it might end up being disproportionate but you have got to make do with what you get. Our club is run prudently so it will make a big difference to us.”

The full pre-match interview video with John Coleman is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!


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