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INTERVIEW: Coley looks ahead to AFC Wimbledon

Reds boss focused on late Play-Off push

8 April 2021

Accrington Stanley take on relegation-threatened AFC Wimbledon on Saturday looking to build on their win over Oxford United with boss John Coleman hoping they can make a late Play-Off push.

The Reds are in 11th place, five points outside the top six, with eight games left of the Covid-affected campaign.

Six of these are against teams above them – playing Portsmouth twice – but they kick off the final push against the 22nd placed Dons.

Mark Robinson’s side have lost their last two games but have a big threat in Joe Pigott who has 15 goals and five assists this season.

“I have done my homework on Wimbledon, they are better than their results suggest. They haven’t been beaten 7-0 that’s for sure!” said the Reds boss.

“They generally lose by the odd goal and they have been unlucky in games and have played some good football.

“Wimbledon are capable of putting a run together to stay up and hopefully it doesn’t start with us on Saturday.

“We want to prolong the interest in our season as long as we can and we will only do that by winning games.

“It extends the season, once you are out of the Play-Off race with no fans, there really is nothing to play for. It’s different when you are playing for your fans and the pride. All you are now playing for is trying to get as many points on board as possible if you aren’t involved in the hunt.

“Every opponent we play is in mix either at the top or the bottom and these are the games you want to be involved in.

“They are the best games to play in, historically we have played better against the better teams, six of the last remaining games are against teams above us and that makes it interesting.

“I would love to be involved in the last week of the season, that would be great, three cracking games – Portsmouth, Charlton, Portsmouth - a lot to play for and that’s got to be our goal and hopefully we will get there.”

Coleman admitted, after the 7-0 loss at Peterborough, following it up with a goalless draw at home to Burton and the 2-1 win at Oxford has been a relief.

“Just getting a win after having such a heavy defeat gives everyone a lift and a bit of confidence, the clean sheet last week helped. We have got to embrace every game we play and give it your best shot and that’s what we try and do.”

Thankfully the win meant the Reds aren’t looking over their shoulder.

“We had a good run in the middle part of the season that allayed relegation fears and from then on we have been looking up.

“You are aware you can go into freefall and thankfully we haven’t gone onto one of those horrendous runs and hopefully we won’t between now and the end of the season.

“But if you start getting carried away, looking too far ahead, you take your eye off the ball. We will concentrate on this game and if we get it right we move onto the next game.”

Joe Pritchard, Ross Sykes, Tariq Uwakwe and Ben Barclay were all back in training and Coleman hopes he can call on their services soon.

“The lads who are injured are trying their best to get fit enough to play some part for the rest of the season which is good. They are all capable of being involved between now and the end of the 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!


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