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INTERVIEW: Coley looks ahead to Northampton on Saturday

Reds boss calls strike partnership 'Keegan and Toshack'

4 February 2021

John Coleman knows it’s a balancing act as they Reds prepare to take on Northampton Town on Saturday.

Stanley were on a high after beating Bristol Rovers 6-1 on Tuesday but the Reds boss knows he needs his players to keep their feet on the ground as they look to occupy a spot in the top six with another win on Saturday.

The Reds beat the 21st placed Cobblers earlier in the season and Keith Curle’s side haven’t won in five league games - with three defeats in that - but Coleman knows anything can happen on the day.

“There has been a lot of changes in their personnel since we last played them,” said Coleman, whose side have only lost two league games at the Wham Stadium this season.

“We beat Gillingham and then we saw a different Gillingham side here so it will be tough.

“We have to keep preparing for the next team, it’s a progression thing. One team will play differently than the other.

“Keith has a lot of experience in this league, and in higher and lower leagues, he knows what he is doing.

“He will be aware of the way we are playing and will be coming up with a plan to try and stop us and exploit what he deems to be our weaknesses. It’s a game of cat and mouse and you need a bit of luck along the way.

“It’s a balancing act between not getting carried away and keeping the players high and confident. We need to keep them wanting more and if you enjoy doing something, you want to do it more.”

Coleman says he has compared his front partnership of Dion Charles (12 goals this season) and Colby Bishop (nine goals this season) to Liverpool’s prolific front pairing of Kevin Keegan and John Toshack in the 1970s.

“You have got to keep telling them how great they are, Keegan and Toshack I have named them. They are reminiscent of them - good in the air, good on the floor, a bundle of energy and we have got to keep their confidence up.

“Scoring goals is like a drug and you want more of it and hopefully they will show they need it.

“I have been banging the drum that it’s ok wanting and liking things but if you need something you tend to get it more than like it or want it.”

Deadline day signings Adam Phillips and David Morgan will be eligible for Saturday and Coleman said: “Both are very good footballers, attack-minded and can create and score goals.

“They will give us an extra boost if we are going to try and get a bigger number of goals from midfield. One of the things you can label at us is that we don’t score enough from midfield.

“We have a lot of games in a short space of time so it’s good to have players at your disposal.

“We don’t know what’s round the corner. I am sure three or four weeks ago Ben Barclay didn’t envisage playing in the back three. Things can change, it’s how you adapt to it and if people take their chances. People have to keep themselves in tip-top condition and I know, if I need to call on them, they will be ready.”

Coleman has Ross Sykes, Mo Sangare and Lamine Kaba Sherif out with long term injuries while Gary Roberts and Ryan Cassidy are both short term casualties.

Both defender Michael Nottingham and midfielder Matt Butcher came off with injuries on Tuesday.

“Notts was more of a precaution. Matt was struggling before the game, he was touch and go. He had been for an X-Ray the day before, thankfully there was nothing broken but he felt he could get through it but it ended up being too painful.

“The lads who have stepped in have done really well, that’s why you have a squad. I think the beauty of it is we heavily base our training around games and pattern of play so everyone knowns everyone’s else jobs.”

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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