John Coleman admits he is still ‘blazing’ from Tuesday’s defeat to Ipswich Town but now turns his attention to trying to get back to winning ways at home to Swindon Town on Saturday.
Captain Seamus Conneely was controversially sent off in the 16th minute as the Reds, who were leading 1-0 at that stage, eventually lost 2-1 with the Tractor Boys leapfrogging Stanley into seventh place.
Coleman’s men have now not won in four league games and the Reds boss knows they need to get out of this indifferent run quickly if they are to have a chance of securing a place in the top six. They are appealing Conneely’s red card.
“I still feel dreadful, still blazing, I am probably at the level that I was when we drew 0-0 with Stevenage not to go up on the last day of the season, that’s how angry I am,” said Coleman.
“I did have the conversation with Mike Jones (Head of the Referees’ Association). I feel for him as much as I feel for myself, it’s a recurring theme this season not just for me.
“It’s human error and you have just got to accept it. We make more mistakes than the referees, me and the players, but their mistakes unfortunately impact on us massively. It’s not isolated incidents that hurt you, it’s the ongoing steady drip that you feel.
“I am not stupid enough to think there is any other hidden agenda but it’s so frustrating when you see so many go against you and not many go for you.
“You have just got to play through it. We won’t be the only team who will suffer from bad decisions this season, it’s not done deliberately or out of malice.
“A referee has a couple of seconds to make a decision and they will get lots right, they will get more right than they get wrong, but the ones they get wrong have a massive impact on our lives not just the game. They impact on our mood, the mood of the fans, the mood of the players, the whole club.
“We have to hope if we keep working hard eventually we will get into positions where we are going into their box, and we are not giving penalties away, but in their box we have a chance of getting a penalty or scoring goals.”
Coleman hasn’t been successful with red card appeals in the past but felt he owed it to his captain to appeal this one.
The FA rules on fouls and misconduct say, on denying a goalscoring opportunity, a player should be cautioned if he attempted to play the ball, not sent off.
“It took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in my own mind what to do but I owe it to the player. It’s that blatant, and I hope that they see it like the Head of the Referees has seen it and like any referee would look at that. I think if the referee in question looked at it again he would know he has made an error.
“It is debatable whether Seamus has actually touched the ball so to say he hasn’t played the ball, that is remarkable.
“But it’s gone now we have to look forward not backwards. You have got to try and put a lot of it out your mind. It’s been difficult, I have been trying to switch off from football for a day and I can’t.
“When you are so close, and we are so close, and if half the decisions we had haven’t gone against us like they have this season, we would probably be in the top three and that’s the frustrating thing.
“But you can’t go on ifs and buts you just have to look forward.
“I remember the season we won the league, we had very few decisions that went against us, a couple went in our favour, we didn’t have that many sending’s off if any. We have six sending’s off this season, probably one is justified, that’s why it’s frustrating.”
Swindon, managed by John Sheridan, are in 19th place in League One but have had some good results in 2021, beating Ipswich and Crewe, while drawing with Lincoln and Charlton.
“I like Shez, he is a good lad, a proper football man and he says it as it is. They are capable of giving anyone a game, they were unlucky the other night against Sunderland, they shouldn’t have lost.
“Whatever team we put out we have got to go all out to win, like we did against Ipswich.
“We picked a very attacking side, went down to ten and carried on attacking and kept two up front. We are going to have to do that until the end of the season as we have to pick up wins if we are going to get into the Play-Offs.
“Not winning is a concern, whether home or away. We were mindful we didn’t want to go on a poor run where you just pick up a couple of points from six or seven games and we have got two points off our last four games now and probably merited more from our performances, but not much more. We have got to get back to playing the way we can.”
Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter is touch and go for Saturday after coming off with a shoulder injury, the Reds are waiting results of a scan. Joe Pritchard is being assessed by the medical staff.
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!