John Coleman is hoping for another ‘special season’ as the Sky Bet League One campaign kicks off today at Wycombe Wanderers.
Coleman has overseen the Reds climb from the UniBond First Division in 1999 to Stanley now being an established side in League One since 2018, challenging at the top end of the table.
The Reds finished 11th last season in a Covid-hit campaign and have largely kept the squad together and added to it – with perhaps a few more additions to come.
“We have got to try and finish as high as we can,” said Coleman.
“We had a really good season last season but for injuries and the Covid situation, getting Covid all at once in numbers, we could have possibly made the Play-Offs.
“But you can’t look back, you have got to look forward. We have a great set of lads and we will give it our best shot. I would love to make the Play-Offs, we have got a realistic chance, but I am sure 23 other teams think the same.
“In the summer, the loan players go back and a couple of players you don’t expect to go, go, in defence in Mark Hughes and Ben Barclay, but I am pleased with the additions and we have left room for a couple of others before the window shuts.
“But we have a great set of lads who are working their socks off in training.
“We had a dip in form against Bradford in our last pre-season friendly and that gave us a bit of a wake-up call but we might have needed that as maybe we were getting a bit ahead of ourselves and sometimes a reality check does you the world of good.
“We have big characters and you need that. We have got lads who want to try and do something special this year so why can’t it be our turn?”