Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is focusing on his defence as the Reds take on fellow League One side Rotherham in the first round of the Carabao Cup tomorrow night.
Against Bradford in their last pre-season friendly, the Reds conceded two early goals and they did the same at Wycombe in the league opener at Adams Park on Saturday in a 2-1 defeat.
Coleman knows they can’t do the same again against the Millers, relegated from the Championship last season, and who beat Plymouth in their opening game.
“I watched a little bit of the Wycombe game back yesterday and I came to the same conclusion as I did on Saturday,” said Coleman.
“We have got to defend better and that’s as an 11. There were individual errors which cost us on Saturday.
“It’s difficult to legislate for, you try your best to, you put policies, coaching and patterns of play in place but sometimes it happens and there is very little you can do about it as a manager. You have got to hope the players learn from the mistakes they make.
“It is a learning process for everyone, you should never think you know everything. You are always trying to improve and we will try to do that on the training pitch, we will analyse it, watch videos and give strategies to help them cope better with the type of attack they have got to defend against.
“It was no surprise the way Wycombe played on Saturday, we practiced it all last week and we must have dealt with that ball which cost us the first goal 50 times during the week and then when it matters, we fluff our lines.
“I have seen the best in the world do it and we know it can happen but we have got to make sure it doesn’t happen that often throughout the season and we can impose the way we play onto the opposition and try and win games.”
Coleman admitted he is an admirer of Paul Warne’s Rotherham side – ex-Red Matt Crooks left to join Middlesbrough in the summer but they still have former Stanley loan players Dan Barlaser, Michael Ihiekwe and Matt Smith in their squad.
“We have had some great games against Rotherham in the past. We expect them to play a typical Rotherham game and it’s good to watch, I like watching Rotherham.
“Hopefully we can compete better in the early part of the game than we did on Saturday. We gifted them two goals and if you gift teams goals, it’s difficult to come back. They have capitalised on our sloppy play.”
Coleman will assess his squad as there are a couple of knocks in the camp and he may call some of his younger summer signings to play.
“If you class our squad with all the 23s, we have got a huge squad. If you look at experienced players who have played league football you are down to 16/17 so in that case it’s not a big squad.
“We will maybe look to add one or two before the window shuts and hopefully the youngsters can develop and play a part this season and try and get us where we want to go.”
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!