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INTERVIEW: Coley on clash with promotion-chasing Wigan

Reds boss keen to end away hoodoo but will be without Ross Sykes

4 April 2022

John Coleman is desperate to give the travelling fans something to cheer about – but the Reds couldn’t face a tougher task that a trip to promotion-chasing Wigan Athletic tomorrow night.

The Latics, managed by former Stanley midfielder and manager Leam Richardson, currently sit in second spot – this is one of their games in hand – and have lost just once in their last 11 league games.

Leading their line is 19-goal Will Keane and 15-goal Callum Lang as they look to bounce straight back into the Championship.

Stanley have not won in eight away games – losing six of them – and their last away win was at Lincoln on November 27th 2021.

Coleman said: “As we have found this season, any team away from home is difficult for us at the moment.

“Wigan are a good side, I speak to Leam quite often and it’s easy for me looking outside in to think they are going to get promoted but Leam is still nervous about it.

“When the game kicks off, we won’t be trying to do him any favours, we want to win games, we are close and yet far because of the way we defend as a team.

“If we get that right we are a match for any team, we are not scared of anybody. We have got to hope it all drops into place.

“Wigan have a lot of experience and they have brought in improving players, they cost money but if they have the money then spend it and get the best they can. I would if I had the money and they have recruited really well.

“Our model is different to theirs but it doesn’t mean we can’t compete with them, we have to get young hungry players and try and move them on.

“Leam has not had a great deal of experience as a manager but he has done superbly well to keep them going last season when they were down to the bare bones and start the way they have, he deserves a lot of credit but we will be trying to beat them.”

Stanley will be without suspended Ross Sykes who was sent off for two yellow cards following a controversial handball in the 4-4 draw with Cheltenham on Saturday.

“I have got to stop focusing on the referees and focus on the football, that’s the top and bottom of it, focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t control.

“It’s bad luck but the only way to overcome back luck is to work hard and get yourself into areas where luck can’t go against you.

“Instead of focusing on decisions, we are better focusing on decisions we make on the football field, decisions I make in the team selection.

“Half of me doesn’t want to do post-match interviews, as sometimes I talk a load of nonsense and it’s just an avenue to vent your frustration and that can get you into more trouble.

“We have got to accept they (officials) have a difficult task trying to get every decision right and they are going to make mistakes, they are only human, and if they do impact you dramatically, so be it, that’s what football is all about and you have got to accept it.

“Against Cheltenham, we played really good football, we did more than enough to win two games. We got back to our style of play of on the front foot, picking up second balls, making chances, scoring goals but we have to eliminate the lack of concentration in defence which has plagued us all season.

“We have conceded far too many goals for a team who thinks that they could be challenging at the top end and that’s still a work in progress.”

The Reds boss did have praise for two-goal Tommy Leigh who has scored eight goals this season after being picked up from non-league last summer.

“Tommy is learning the game, he will only get better in my opinion. I knew he would have enough to work with us, he is a good kid and a great outlook on life as well as football.

“From his point of view, to come to the other side of the country, on his own and settle in the way he has is testament to his own character and his family’s character.”

With Sykes suspended, Harry Pell is also a doubt after coming off with a swollen foot. Matt Butcher, out of contract in the summer, is back in contention.

“There is no problem with Matt, we just have multiple options in midfield and it’s nice to look at them before the season ends.”

The full pre-match interview with John Coleman is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!


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