John Coleman admitted tomorrow night’s Sky Bet League One clash with Crewe Alexandra is a chance to ‘right a few wrongs.’
The Reds lost 2-0 to then League Two side Alex in last season’s Emirates FA Cup in a bizarre match which saw the referee changed three times due to injury, the game finishing with just one assistant referee and which lasted three hours due to the hold-ups.
Coleman said: “I am still smarting from last year’s defeat by them.
“The FA Cup game was a farce and don’t think it’s ever been addressed properly. I am still upset about that defeat so it’s a chance to right a few wrongs.”
Crewe, who have former Reds Omar Beckles and Offrande Zanzala playing for them, are currently in mid-table but lost 4-1 to Portsmouth at the weekend.
Coleman continued: “They have started well, I have watched them a few times and they play some good football.
“They probably didn’t do themselves justice with the 4-1 on Saturday. If you watch the game, they were very much in the game in the first half and then they conceded two sloppy goals.
“They probably had the better of the opening exchanges but you can’t concede goals at this level against good sides, you get punished, and then the game gets taken away from you and that was the case for them for Saturday.”
The Reds drew 0-0 with Lincoln on Saturday – their fourth consecutive league clean sheet – but were down to ten-men following the 71st minute sending off of sub Sean McConville. The Reds are appealing the decision.
“Lincoln are a good side, after the opening 20 minutes where we could have scored early on and then they had a bit of the play, we nullified them and took control of the game.
“We had a stranglehold in the game, we were taking the ball off them at will and making chances at will and not taking them.
“Then the sending off happens and it goes out the window and you end up having to hang on and defend which we did stoically.
“In the end, it’s probably a good point but when I had got home, I was disappointed we hadn’t got the full three as the performance up to the harsh sending off merited that.”
Stanley are currently ninth in the table and have lost just one of their last nine league matches.
They have conceded 10 league goals – four in one game against Oxford making the stats worse than Coleman feels they should be.
“The lads work all over the team to defend so it’s not just a case of the back four and the goalkeeper, it’s everyone putting in a shift to try and close down the opposition and stop them making chances.
“I am pleased with the way we have adapted to it, it’s quite a new defence and losing Ross Sykes was a blow.
“But we have had to adapt and have done quite well.
“You can’t get carried away with how we are doing at the moment.
“It can quickly bite you on the backside if you do.
“Crewe hadn’t conceded many goals up to Saturday and then all of a sudden, you let four in.
“We had four against Oxford, again a harsh sending off, and the game can get away from you.
“You need a little bit of luck to keep clean sheets and to score goals and we just have to keep working hard and hope the luck goes in our favour.
“It’s still early days and, the effect of the Covid on the team, we are not quite sure how that will pan out for the rest of the season.
“We are pleased with the way it’s gone up to now. The appetite we have shown for games and in the main, if we can keep ticking along like this, it will be an enjoyable season.”
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!