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INTERVIEW: Coley loves the Emirates FA Cup

Reds manager knows in-form Port Vale will be a challenge

4 November 2021

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman says it wouldn’t make a difference if the prize money was £1 or £1billion, he wants to win any game but there is the extra incentive when the Reds take on Port Vale tomorrow in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Coleman's side face League Two promotion contenders Port Vale at Vale Park on Saturday - Darrell Clarke’s side have won seven of their last nine league games and currently sit second in the table.

This season, there is £22,629 up for grabs for winning the first round.

Stanley have had mixed results in the past few years – they have been beaten by Tranmere, Crewe and Guiseley in the first round in three of the last five years but have also reached the fourth round in two of the last five years, losing eventually to Derby and Middlesbrough.

There have been such good times in the world’s oldest cup competition, especially the 2003/4 season when then non-league Stanley overcame Huddersfield, Bournemouth and then lost to Colchester in a replay – the finance from that leading to the Reds going full-time and building the foundation for where Stanley are today.

Coleman admitted: “The perception nowadays might be different to when we were non-league for the fans because to draw Sunderland, I remember drawing Bournemouth and Huddersfield, for them that was a big day.

“I remember when we played Colchester in 2004 and it beggars belief that we are a league above Colchester, I remember the queues going all the way down Livingstone Road.

“For me it’s the same, the FA Cup always has a special place for me. As a kid growing up, that’s one of the few times that you saw live football but also the excitement and thrill of it and that won’t go away for me.

“It doesn’t matter who you play, they say the cup is a great leveller and it is. I am sure the Port Vale fans and players are looking forward to it as much as we are.

“A club of our size, £10,000 or £15,000 prize money is a lot of money for us and we won’t be sneezing at the first round prize money.

“On a personal note, I want to win every game of football that my team plays. I can’t want to win any more or any less, no matter. It could be £1billion at stake or £1 as it wouldn’t change my will to win, you can’t want to win any more than 100 per cent.”

He knows this is a tricky fixture with the Valiants in-form.

“The game is on the day, it doesn’t matter what goes on before or after.

“Port Vale are in a rich vein of form, I have a lot of respect for their manager. He is one of the good lads who you can speak to on the same level.

“We can relate to each other and our teams. I am looking forward to seeing him and hopefully it will be a pleasant time after the game.

“We have had some good battles with Port Vale over the years and for a long time they were in a higher division than us. To get to the stage where we are in a higher division, that’s football. Things fluctuate.

“It never changes though, it’s 11 v 11 no matter what league you are in. We have gone out to non-league teams in the past and league teams and we have beat teams who are higher than us. We want to be in the second round draw.”

Coleman has a couple of players coming back from injury who come into frame for the game.

“We still have Matt (Butcher) and Joe (Pritchard) out for a few weeks with strains but we should have Joel (Mumbongo) back into the fold and Harvey Rodgers. Mitch Clark has been struggling with a few things and hopefully Sam Sherring will be back too.”

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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