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INTERVIEW: Coley on the final home game of the season

No let up for Reds as they take on promotion-chasing Charlton

29 April 2021

John Coleman has said there will be no let up from his Accrington side as they play their final home game of the 20/21 season with Play-Off chasing Charlton the visitors.

Stanley are in 11th place, six points outside the top six with two games to go, while the Addicks are in eighth place, two points outside the promotion places and they have three games left.

Nigel Adkins took over from Lee Bowyer, who joined Birmingham in March, and they have lost just one of their last ten games, winning five of them.

Their top scorer is Chuks Aneke with 14 goals but their man in form is Preston on loan striker Jayden Stockley, a former loanee at Stanley in 2011-12, when he was then at Bournemouth.

“Jayden Stockley has made a big impact,” said the Reds boss. “We know Jayden’s strengths, Jayden is a great lad, I have tried to sign him a couple of times unsuccessfully since he was first with us. You know what you are getting off him, he is a talented player.

“Charlton are a big club and, if they get it right, they can be a handful for anyone but I don’t think they will be looking forward to coming to our place.

“To anyone who thinks we might take our foot off the gas I would say underestimate us at your peril. We have got quite a few young lads who maybe the pressure to win games week in week out has been tough to take but the shackles are off.

“You saw the way we played in the second half against Portsmouth, we will be dangerous against anyone. For the integrity and importance of these two games to other teams, playing young players would be unfair.”

Stanley have drawn their last two games 3-3 – at Sunderland and against Pompey on Tuesday.

“It was the same outcome but different emotions after both games. The only thing I have got to take away from it is that for one and a half games of football we have been outstanding.

“You look at teams who would be fancied this season – Doncaster, Sunderland, Portsmouth would come into that equation – and it’s something like 67 shots we have had against the three of them which tells you a lot about how we are playing and the confidence our lads have got. It’s just a pity we cannot convert more of the chances we are making. That’s always the holy grail for managers.”

Coleman admits he has learnt a lot from this campaign as his team look to finish as high as they can.

“It’s often said the league table doesn’t lie but I think it has this season. There are teams down the bottom who shouldn’t be there.

“You look at Burton’s form since Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink has gone there and they would probably be top three, then there is Rochdale’s form of late.

“There are teams who must be scratching their heads thinking what went wrong but we have got to learn from this season that if we can get more focused throughout games we can achieve a lot.

“The overriding factor from this season is that the players have got to learn that you can’t switch off for a moment in any game.

“It doesn’t matter where the ball is, what you are doing, you can give a throw in away that leads to a goal, you can lose a man, you can lose the ball in the opposition half, every minute as a footballer you have got to be at it and the successful teams are.

“We always aim high and I think we have missed a marvellous opportunity as this season there has been no stand out teams. The fact we have beaten both teams who are likely to go up automatically is frustrating.

“There was no poor team either, anyone could put a string of performances together. In January, I said we had to avoid going on a horrendous run but we did, which coincided with a lot of injuries and bad luck.

“But I have learnt more this season than any, not to settle to be happy in League One. If you are in a league try and win it.

“I have always been like that but that possibly that wasn’t the case the last couple of years but I have learnt we can be as good as anybody in this league and there is no reason why we can’t go up next season.

“We think we are a stronger than we were last year so that’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can continue that progress next 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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