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INTERVIEW: Coley demands a better show from his players

Reds chasing four successive League One wins at MK Dons

26 August 2021

John Coleman says Accrington Stanley have to put Tuesday behind them and fully focus on making it four successive League One wins at MK Dons on Saturday.

The Reds lost on penalties to League Two bottom side Oldham Athletic in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday after a goalless draw in 90 minutes.

Coleman was furious after the game his side didn’t play well and lost out after an Oldham penalty in sudden death was saved – but then ordered to be retaken which they scored from which led to their 5-4 spot kick win.

“I don’t get like I did on Tuesday after matches anymore so it has to be something unusual,” said the Reds boss. “It was a double-edged sword.

“The fact we didn’t play well annoyed me and I have got my own standards which I try to adhere to.

“And every time you see the penalty decision again, the retake, that’s the one that galls you. I have had long conversations with Head of Referees Mike Jones and he is flabbergasted. There will be serious ramifications from it but that’s not going to put us back into the cup.

“Things like that shouldn’t happen. People make mistakes but I don’t understand how that mistake can be made. If you watch the four that were saved, that was the most correct one out the four.

“I had a conversation recently about luck and you can’t get more lucky than that if you are an Oldham player or the Oldham team going to go through.

“But it’s gone now, you can’t dwell on it, it will do your mental health no good.

“We have got to draw a line under it and move on.

“We have to take on board that we can’t play like the way we played, we have got to improve on that.

“After every game so far, we are delighted with the points return but I have not been overly happy with the way we have played, there is much more room for improvement and we have got to deliver it.”

Coleman stated he was disappointed with the fitness of his players after Tuesday’s game and admits this is a problem.

“I pride myself on how I get the lads trained and it’s always worked well for us over the last few seasons. I was mindful last season we lost a lot of players in pre-season, I think we had 14 players on the treatment table, and I was probably a bit too gentle this year.

“Towards the end of games we have not been showing the fitness levels that I want, players get injured and you can’t criticise them for that, it’s just frustrating.

“But I always go into games full of confidence, they are great lads, it’s not for lack of trying, sometimes we are a bit misguided but I can’t fault them and I want them to get the rewards for how they play.”

With Stanley fourth in the League One table, MK Dons are 13th with one win, two draws and one defeat so far.

Manager Russell Martin joined Swansea and Liam Manning is now in charge.

“MK Dons play some lovely one-two touch football but we play some good football as well and it will be a good match.

“Last season they popped us off the park and we didn’t get going and we deservedly got beat. The same thing happened at Crewe last year but we addressed that last weekend and hopefully we will go to MK and address it.

“We have to try and impose our style on the game and make it about us and not about them. When you do that you don’t have to defend as much and you make them worry about you more than you worry about them.”

Colby Bishop and Harvey Rodgers are expected to recover from knocks for Saturday while John O’Sullivan and Seamus Conneely are around two weeks away from fitness.

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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