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INTERVIEW: Coley looks ahead to Barrow

Reds boss hoping to get a response from his players when they face Barrow tomorrow night

9 November 2020

Following Saturday's defeat to Tranmere Rovers, Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is hoping to get a response from his players as the Reds face Barrow in the Papa John's Trophy tomorrow night.

The Reds suffered a 2-1 loss in what was the club's first game back since the team had to self-isolate for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak, but Coleman explained that he's not going to make any excuses for the defeat.

"We can't look for excuses and we're not going to do that, it's understandable that fatigue will play some kind of part in it with so many being ill for so long and having little time to work back.

"We still had plenty of time to prepare for the game and your fitness or your lungs shouldn't really affect how you pass the ball or the decisions you make.

"Hopefully we'll be stronger next week and as the weeks go on we'll get stronger and stronger."

Stanley need just a point at the Progression Solicitors Stadium to proceed to the next round of the Papa John's Trophy, a competition that gives the club a good chance of securing a first trip to Wembley Stadium.

"We've still got a good bunch of lads, I know we've got a good team and now we've got to focus on the league.

"Obviously we've got the cup tomorrow which we want to try and get through and give ourselves a chance to have a route to Wembley.

"Then we can concentrate on the league and start building towards that."

Prior to Saturday's game, the Reds had lost just one of their last five games and Coleman is glad to have another game in quick succession.

"As much as the FA Cup is a great money spinner and that's the thing I'm most sick about really.

"I hate losing games at the best of times no matter what competition you're in but the added money for the club would have eased the financial burden, so that's a blow.

"Our main priority is the league and it does free up the opportunity to play on a Saturday, who knows we could've won again and then it knocks another Saturday off and it gives you more Tuesday games.

"It could work in our favour in the long run, but we're still hurting about getting beat and I want the players to feel like that.

"The only way to do something about that is to get back on the horse and try to win a game of football, which we've got the opportunity tomorrow night and we've got that same opportunity next Saturday."

Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter was handed his debut for the club in Saturday's game at Prenton Park, and the Reds boss was full of praise for the 22-year-old Chelsea loanee.

"I thought he did really well, he made a couple of really good saves.

"His talking was good, he could do nothing with the goals and he commanded his area well.

"He's going to have a big say in who plays in goal this year, he's going to push Toby (Savin) all the way."

Barrow, who currently sit 18th in League Two, have secured three points from their first two Papa John's Trophy games and Coleman is expecting a tough test from David Dunn's side.

"I like Dunny, he's a great lad and I've known him for years, he's a true footballing person.

"I'm sure he'll be keen to get one over on us, we've just got to try and win the game and take it like anything else.

"They have got good players, we've watched them and done a little bit of preparation on them, and I'm sure they'll have done the same with us."

Both Michael Nottingham and Jon Russell are unavailable to play in tomorrow night's game, with the Reds boss also confirming that Tom Allan has been struggling with a thigh injury.

"Tommy Allan's going to have to have a scan today, he's struggling a little bit with his thigh which has been an ongoing problem.

"We've got one or two cup-tied because I think they played for Chelsea, but apart from that we've got a healthy squad to choose from."

Sean McConville missed Saturday's game against Tranmere with a heel injury, but Coleman doesn't expect the winger to be out for too long.

"He's just going to have to have a minor operation, one of the anchors needs to be removed out of his heel.

"It should possibly see him out for about seven to 10 days, so hopefully he'll be back training and pushing for a starting place."

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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