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INTERVIEW: Coley on facing Fleetwood

Stanley will come up against two former Reds at the Highbury Stadium on Saturday

25 February 2021

John Coleman will come up against two players who did well for Accrington Stanley when the Reds face Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium on Saturday.

Defender Janoi Donacien is on loan from Ipswich at the Cod Army while midfielder Sam Finley signed in September last year after parting company with Stanley by mutual consent.

Simon Grayson took over as manager from Joey Barton, who left at the beginning of January, but they have won just once in their last 13 league games and are 17th in League One.

“Simon knows the game inside out, he is a good character, we have had a few duals with him throughout our career,” said the Reds boss.

“He will organise them well, they will be disappointed to lose to Sunderland in their last game but it’s no slant on you if you go to Stadium of Light and are disappointed you get beat.

“Janoi is a cracking lad, I love him to bits and I want him to do brilliantly in his career just not on Saturday!

“He gave his all for us and that’s all you ask for. You sell them on and pat them on the back because it’s a two-way process, a win-win, the club got good money for him and he gave us unbelievable service.

“Sam Finley, I watched him come on last week and he was very very good and we all know what Sam can do if he plays.”

Coleman was trying not to dwell on the 2-0 loss to Crewe on Tuesday where Harvey Rodgers was sent off in the 50th minute but said the Reds need to learn from their mistakes.

Looking back at the game he said:  “We have got to eliminate silly mistakes. If you look at the last six or seven goals we have conceded, probably five of them have been down to howlers really, mistakes that are avoidable.

“When you look at the first goal back at Crewe it was like Keystone Cops and you can’t plan for that happening.

“The players have got to take the responsibility to stop it happening, they have to get more organised amongst themselves.

“I have said it before, I think our coaches are under-rated, they put in some great work with our players but once they cross the line you can’t dictate what they do in individual situations and too often we have made mistakes and been punished.

“When we get it right, we go forward, run ourselves into the ground we generally have a good chance of winning.

“When all our players get 7s, 8s and 9s we win. Could you honestly say our players got those marks on Tuesday? No.

“You would be struggling to find anyone who got over a 7 so you can blame outside variables – referee, pitches, wind – but you have to look at what you can control yourself and that’s how you play, the style, the ethos, the system, the formation, the courage to get on the ball, the passion and determination. If you get them right you get the rewards.

“That’s why we have to move forward. If you dwell too much on a defeat you get a negative vibe around the place and you don’t go into the next game with a spring in your step and we have always believed in going into the next game with a spring in our step and trying to attack and that’s what we will do on Saturday.”

Coleman hopes Joe Pritchard, Ben Barclay and Paul Smyth will all be in contention for Saturday with Harvey Rodgers serving a one-game suspension.

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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