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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Coley on Friday night's game at Charlton

After three week lay-off, Reds hope to get promotion charge back on track

6 January 2021

John Coleman says the players are ‘chomping at the bit’ after three weeks without a game as they travel to promotion rivals Charlton Athletic on Friday night, live on Sky.

The Addicks are in sixth place – two points ahead of the eighth placed Reds but they have played three games more.

Stanley last played on December 19th in a goalless encounter with Blackpool and are playing catch-up with the rest of the league.

“If we are going to be successful this year, we have to perform against teams who are in and around or above us and Charlton are no exception," said the Reds boss.

“They are a good side, I watched them on Saturday, and we know their strengths and weaknesses and I am sure they know ours.

“All we will do is take every game as it comes and give it our best shot.

“We have got a good squad here, everyone is pushing for places, everyone is chomping at the bit to play but we haven’t played for three weeks, it’s strange times, and we have just to keep going and see where that takes us.

“We had been on a decent run of form before this break, playing well and you want to carry on playing but we have no control over the weather and everyone is struggling to keep any kind of control over the covid virus.

“We will prepare right, we won’t be looking for any excuses. I have a squad of players who are all desperate to play and it’s just keeping a lid on them until we get them into peak condition for Friday night.”

Coleman has already brought winger Gary Roberts into the club – who played a big part as the Reds clinched promotion to the EFL in 2006 -  and hopes to make a couple more additions during the January transfer window.

The Reds are still waiting for international clearance from the Welsh FA for Roberts, who was playing at Bala after leaving Wigan in November, but Coleman can’t wait to see him put on a red shirt again.

“We are hoping to bring in one or two and I think it will be essential, playing so many games in so short a space of time.

“It’s great having Gary here, it’s like he has never been away. He is a great lad, his experience will be invaluable as we have a lot of young lads in the squad.

“He has been around the top end of League One more than he has been around the bottom, that’s for sure, and we are hoping it will give us a lift between now and the end of the season.

“Gary is a good player. I watched him play the back end of last season and he was outstanding in the Championship. I know what Gary can bring us and he is more than happy to come and play a part in what could be a push to glory this season for us.

“I know what I am getting, I know he is desperate to do well for us, the club and the fans. He was well liked when he was here. We got a few bob for him and he has had a smashing career and hopefully this can be his swan song.”

Coleman confirmed one Stanley player had tested positive for Covid-19 in the latest round of compulsory testing this week.

Apart from long term injuries to Mo Sangare and Lamine Kaba Sheriff and a minor injury to Ross Sykes, it was otherwise a clean bill of health.

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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