Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman knows Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe well and says the clash against the in-form Pilgrims should be an entertaining game.
Coleman admitted trying to sign striker Lowe three times for the Reds – but each time he was turned down – and since then the former Shrewsbury, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday hitman, among others, has gone into management.
He led Bury to promotion before their demise and has the Pilgrims currently sitting in 13th place in the League One table, unbeaten in the league in January.
They have won three of their last four league games and have 21-year-old Luke Jephcott on 15 goals – among the top scorers in the league.
Coleman said: “I have good and bad memories of Home Park, I remember years ago when we drew 2-2 and Sean Hessey got sent off.
“I know Lowey, I did try to sign him around three times, there are no hard feelings. I know the way he plays, I know they have a really good side, who play some great football. They had a bit of a lull and have come through that and he is a good footballing fella and a good mate of mine.
“He knows the game, he has made the transition from player to manager quite seamless and he is of the right age and the right stock that he could go a long way in football.
“We play each other quite quickly, they are two good challenges and they should make for entertaining games as we are both teams who want to play football.”
Coleman admitted he does get frustrated at times in some people’s idea of Stanley that they have enjoyed success on hard work and luck – he says a lot more goes into it.
“I have spoken a lot in the media in the last year about this concept that Accrington get by on gung-ho spirit, team spirit, everyone enjoys it, the coaching staff are a laugh, the life and soul of the party but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Most of our success has been built on a lot of studious and technical work, studying the opposition, coming up with a game-plan, working on the shape of the team, on patterns of play and we have got two top coaches in Jimmy Bell and John Doolan.
“They both take pride in their work, put the hours in at home watching videos, studying the opposition, coming up with a game-plan and we try and fine tune it over the week and our week is all built up to the game.
“People don’t see that and appreciate the amount of effort we put in to try and get our shape right.
“The game against Hull on Tuesday, we had worked on that all week, we were disappointed with the way we played against Hull the week before who had gone top of the league, and we were determined to put it right.
“Our shape was spot-on, our effort was spot-on, the players carried out the patterns of play we gave them and they saw the benefits of it.
“It wasn’t a fluke and that comes down to the top coaching of Jimmy and John and I add a sprinkling in it myself but they don’t get the credit they deserve for the coaches they are.”
Before a memorable victory over then league leaders Hull on Tuesday, the Reds had lost their last two league encounters following a strong win over Charlton on TV.
“You have never got to think you have cracked it and we may have been a bit guilty of that after Charlton,” added Coleman.
“We didn’t take our foot off the gas but we didn’t do what makes us good, what we have tried to plan for didn’t get carried out and that was for numerous reasons.
“We got the win on Tuesday but we won’t get carried away. We are not even halfway through the season, there is a lot of football to be played, there are plenty of teams all vying for the Play-Offs and automatics.
“Teams will take points off each other, you just have to not go on a barren run and steadily accumulate points and if you steadily accumulate points in this league this season, you will be in with a shout of the top six.”
Stanley will be without defender Ross Sykes, who is out for the rest of the season with a tear in his quad muscle, and striker Ryan Cassidy is also unavailable with a thigh injury.
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!