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INTERVIEW: Coley determined to preserve home record in derby clash

Former Reds boss Leam Richardson returns with promotion-chasing Wigan

16 September 2021

John Coleman comes up against former Stanley player and manager Leam Richardson tomorrow determined to preserve the Reds unbeaten home record.

Richardson has been at the helm at Wigan involving a takeover saga and a relegation from the Championship but now the Latics sit in second place, pushing for a place back in the second tier of English football.

On his coaching staff is ex-Stanley manager James Beattie along with former Stanley defender Peter Murphy and former kitman at the Wham, Naz Ali.

The Reds have won three out of three in League One at the Wham Stadium this season and a bumper crowd is expected with Wigan selling around 2,300 tickets for the clash.

“You have got to give Leam credit, he was in my top three for Manager of the Year last year for the job he did at Wigan,” said Coleman.

“Now it’s a fresh start, the expectations have risen massively and you then tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself. Leam is good enough and strong enough to deal with that.

“We had a couple of good games against Wigan last year (lost 4-3 at Wigan and Stanley won 3-1 at home), the one at the DW was strange beyond belief.

“We think we are a little bit stronger than last year and they will think they are a hell of a lot stronger than last year so it should be a good game.

“They have made a lot of good signings and they have a good set of players.”

Coleman finally has a few key players coming back from injury although Harry Pell is suspended after picking up five bookings.

“Seamus Conneely got another 45 minutes in the U23s this week and that’s helping him on road to recovery.

“There were some good performances from Jack Nolan, Jovan Malcolm got a couple of good goals, Joel Mumbongo got minutes but he got a bit of an injury which was a blow.

“Liam Coyle came on and was excellent. Lewis Mansell the same. The lads at the back did well – Yebz (Yeboah Amankwah), Harry (Perritt) and Archie (Procter) and it’s really good experience for them.

“It’s all part of the process of trying to get them slotted into the first team at some stage.”

Joe Pritchard is a waiting game as he struggles to recover from an ankle injury while summer signing John O’Sullivan is back in training.

“We have to wait for the pain to go with Joe and then he can play but we don’t know when that will be so it's frustrating. Johnno is back in training and isn’t a million miles away.

“It is a concern that Harry Pell has picked up five yellow cards already but his game is based on aggression and getting himself around the park.

“I think he has been fairly undone to a couple of times but you don’t want to take that element of the game so he has got to taper it down so he has an impact on the game but he doesn’t spiral into having a terrible disciplinary record.

“Ethan Hamilton has been knocking on the door for ten days and you have to open the door to him, he has been outstanding and I am sure he will grab his opportunity with both hands.”

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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