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INTERVIEW: Coley on facing Tranmere in the Emirates FA Cup

Reds boss hoping Covid outbreak doesn't affect tomorrow's game

6 November 2020

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has stated many times over the years how much the Emirates FA Cup means to him so he desperate for the Reds to get through their first round tie at League Two Tranmere Rovers tomorrow.

The most famous Stanley FA Cup run saw them beat Huddersfield and Bournemouth before losing to Colchester in 2003/04 which sparked turning professional and eventually promotion to the EFL after a 44-year absence in 2006.

Coleman wants more historic days in the famous cup, even though the fans won’t be there to see it at the moment, and that means knocking out the Prenton Park side.

“I don’t think the Wham Stadium wouldn’t exist without the FA Cup, without our runs early on to make us progress up the ladder,” said the Reds boss.

“I have said many times how much it means to me and hopefully we can get on a run.”

Tranmere, who beat the Reds 2-1 in March before the season stopped for Covid and Rovers were relegated on the points per game system, have recently sacked manager Michael Jackson.

Ex-Reds striker Andy Parkinson, who was with Stanley in 2011, and Ian Dawes have taken charge with them in 17th place in League Two.

“They are two good lads, I played with Ian Dawes in Sunday football when I was definitely over the hill!

“We know Tranmere will be capable of giving us a good game. I know a lot of the Tranmere players, they have a good squad and I feel for Michael Jackson paying the price for having a little bit of bad luck and not being able to win games when they possibly should have.

“It will be tough like every game but we know a lot about them and we are quite an open book.

“We won’t be looking for any excuses, we have had two days to prepare and we know we have good players so it’s up to them to go and perform tomorrow.”

Coleman was referring to Covid-19 which swept through the Stanley camp with 17 players and two of the management team, including Coleman, catching the virus.

The Reds have had two weeks off isolating, missing four League One fixtures, but the full set of players was back in training on Thursday.

“I am fine, it’s affected the players and staff differently and I was lucky enough to have one of the milder strains,” said Coleman.

“I couldn’t wait to get out the house and I am glad to be back. The lads seem to have got over it although we will know more when we play.

“It might account for how lifeless we were in the first half against Fleetwood but it’s a case of having to get on with it and we will try and manage it as best we can.

“We won’t know until we actually start playing how it has affected them but hopefully it won’t do too much damage to our prospects this season.

“Isolation wasn’t ideal and there’s only so much football you can watch on the TV before it begins to grate on you a bit and I was getting to that stage.

“We tried to do homework while we weren’t working and tried to keep ourselves up to speed on what was going on around us. Thankfully the league position doesn’t look too bad and we have to try and capitalise on those games in hand.”

The Reds, in 14th place in League One, are hoping Tariq Uwakwe recovers from a stomach bug.

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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