John Coleman says his Accrington Stanley side are going in the right direction as they take on last season’s Play-Off semi-finalists Fleetwood at the Wham Stadium tomorrow night (ko 7pm).
The ninth-placed Reds have won three and lost three of their six League One games so far this season and suffered a 2-0 defeat to unbeaten league leaders Ipswich Town on Saturday.
However Coleman was pleased with the performance and is ready for Joey Barton’s Fleetwood, in 14th place, who may have ex-Red Sam Finley in their fold after he completed a 10-game ban.
The Cod Army have won two of their six league games so far, including a 4-1 win over then leaders Hull recently.
“I thought we played well at Ipswich and, if we play like that all season, we will win more than we lose,” said the Reds boss.
“We played some really good football, we made plenty of chances against the league leaders and our confidence hasn’t taken a knock from that result.
“We know there are areas we can improve on but we are going in the right direction.”
The Reds have won two of their three League One games at the Wham Stadium – only losing to Oxford which Coleman felt was a freak result.
“I don’t count Oxford as, at 1-1, there was only one winner and then they got a fluke goal and the game hinged, in my opinion, on a horrendous decision with the sending off of Dion Charles.
“We certainly haven’t lost heart from that and we go into every game full of confidence.
“We know Fleetwood will be dangerous. They have had a mixed bag of results so far, with some good ones and some indifferent ones.
“We know all about Joey’s team and he will know all about ours.
“Both teams will go for it hammer and tongs and it’s just a shame there won’t be fans here to watch it.”
Fleetwood’s top scorer is Callum Camps with four goals and two assists while Harvey Saunders has three goals. They have also added Blackburn Rovers defender Charlie Mulgrew to their squad on a season-long loan.
“They have got good players all over the park and two potent strikers in Paddy Madden and Ched Evans and we know we will have to be at our best to deny them but they will know we have good players.
“I know Joey and, the longer he is in a manager’s role, the better he will get. They were in the Play-Offs last season and they will be looking to go one better this season.”
Stanley have striker Dion Charles back after a three-game ban and no new injury worries with Mo Sangare and Sean McConville still out.
“It’s a big boost having Dion back and it is difficult for me to pick a squad let alone a team at the moment. There was a good tempo in training today, confidence is high and we can’t wait for the game.”
Midfielder Finley left the Reds in mid-September and signed for Fleetwood a few days later. His ten-game ban was eight games by the Football Association for using abusive language towards an opponent as well as two matches for 10 yellow cards last season.
“It’s ironic his ban is up when they are down to play us but we wish Sam all the best except when he plays against us.”