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INTERVIEW: Coley up for Gills test

Boss keen to build momentum as Reds look to push up the league

28 October 2021

Accrington Stanley take to the road against for a long trip to Gillingham on Saturday with John Coleman desperate to build on the Charlton victory.

The Reds have struggled on their travels this season but the win at the Addicks in their last away game has boosted Stanley’s push up the table.

11th placed Stanley are aiming to build on a two-game unbeaten streak and get some vital momentum as they come up against Steve Evans’ side, who are 19th in the League One table.

The Gills have drawn six of their 15 league games so far and have two wins in their last 12 games but, like Stanley, are unbeaten in two and Coleman knows he needs his side to turn on the style at the Mems Priestfield Stadium.

“It’s yet another tough game. I speak to quite a few League One managers, it’s an unforgiving league and you have got to be a team who are unforgiving.

“Anyone can beat anyone but you have got to be at your best every single week and that’s what we are trying to hammer home to the players.

“You have got to play to the maximum every game and the moment you get players dropping to below six, if you get three or four of them, you are going to get beat.

“It was great we got an away win against Charlton, we would like to build on that but it will be a totally different game on Saturday and we have got to be prepared for whatever they throw at us.

“I have nothing against Steve Evans, I like people who are passionate about football, he wants his team to win and what’s wrong with that? I like winners, who are vociferous and the world would be a dull place if we were all the same.”

Coleman knows, while the main focus is on scoring goals, his defence need to tighten up as the Reds have the joint worst record in the league for goals conceded.

“I know we have defended well this season but not defended well consistently and in nearly every game we have had a blip and we are getting punished for the blips.

“The higher standard you play, the better players will punish you.

“We have got to eliminate the lapses of concentration. It’s individual errors, it’s not team shape or an organisation thing, it’s not anything we are doing differently, it’s basically players are making mistakes and we are getting punished for them. If we can sort that out we have got a chance of winning more games.”

On the playing front, Coleman admitted it was a bitter blow as Joe Pritchard limped off in the Under 23s this week on his return from a long-term injury.

“We will wait for the scan results today but it’s a blow. He pulled up with not the injury he was out with, he pulled up with his hamstring, and we will have to see how the scan pans out.

“It’s bad luck but Joe has proved in the past, he has played a good raft of games, so he is capable of being fit and being a really important member of our squad.

“Joe Hardy came through 50 minutes and some of the lads got a chance to get some game time and played some good football.”

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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