John Coleman loves a local derby with his former club Morecambe – and is plotting for his Accrington Stanley side to keep up their strong record at the Mazuma Stadium.
Since the Shrimps moved from Christie Park in 2010, the Reds have played at the Globe Arena/Mazuma Stadium eight times and lost only once.
Morecambe, under the management of Stephen Robinson, were promoted at Wembley last season with Stanley winger John O’Sullivan winning the decisive penalty.
They are currently 16th in the League One table with three wins so far while the 11th placed Reds are looking to bounce back after two successive league losses.
“I had my best playing days at Morecambe,” said Coleman. “I met some unbelievable people who are still friends today, I have got friends who are Morecambe fans, it is a special place in my heart but I didn’t play in the new stadium so that doesn’t have any memories.
“We have generally done well there and hopefully we can keep that up.
“I was commentating on both Morecambe’s Play-Off semi-finals last season. I thought they were terrific, showed a great team spirit, they played some great football and they have kept quite a few players who have earned the right to play in League One and they are doing well this year.
“I know Stephen (Robinson) from my coaching badge days in Ireland and he is a good manager, a good footballing person and to take over a team who had the upheaval they did after getting promoted, he has done really well.
“They had a good performance at Ipswich on the opening day and he has carried that on and had good results.
“We watched them midweek as they beat Crewe. John Doolan went to the game and he was impressed with what he saw.
“We know we have our work cut out but if we can get back to playing the way we can play, and we know we are capable of this, we are a match for anyone.”
The Reds come up against former player Adam Phillips, who was on loan from Burnley last season with Stanley. The midfielder has got three goals for the Shrimps so far this season.
“Adam is a good footballer and I have made no secret of the fact that I did try to re-sign him but he chose to go to Morecambe and that’s his prerogative.
“We have to hope that he feels on Saturday he has made the wrong decision. All we can do is try and win the game the best we can and the best we know, which is hard work and trying to play good football.”
Coleman admits the 4-1 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic last week hurt, but it will have no reflection on how the Reds play at Morecambe.
“Things like that happen in football, we had some unbelievable results after being beaten seven by Peterborough. Things happen, sometimes they are beyond control.
“Goals are a big driver in games and I still freely admit Wigan were better than us on the day and sometimes teams are better than you on the day.
“We conceded two poor goals from our point of view, got back into the game and had them on the rack, then to concede the third goal was game over.
“But you have to give them credit, they played well and speaking to their manager afterwards, he thinks that’s the best they have played this season so unfortunately we got them on the wrong day.
“Our players had a frank discussion about it on Monday and there are areas we need to improve on and we will work hard to do that on the training pitch and take it into the next game.
“I have been in the game long enough to know that what happened last week, you can learn from your mistakes but it has no bearing on what happens this week.
“You are in control of that, the players are in control of that and we have to try and play better than what we did and take our chances when they come.”
Coleman has players coming back from injury although this game is too early for Joe Pritchard and Harvey Rodgers. O’Sullivan and captain Seamus Conneely are getting their fitness back after both playing for the U23s in the Lancashire Senior Cup at Blackburn on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, striker Dion Charles was left out completely last weekend after Coleman questioned his loyalty to the club.
“The situation is the same as Saturday. We will have another chat with Dion today, there is no animosity, I have just had a good laugh with him in the changing room so it is what it is. Until we feel Dion is ready to play, he won’t play.”
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!