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INTERVIEW: Coley on FGR test

Reds looks to extend unbeaten League One start

15 August 2022


INTERVIEW: Coley on FGR test

Reds looks to extend unbeaten League One start

15 August 2022

Accrington Stanley will aim to extend their unbeaten start to the League One season when they travel to Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night.

The Reds scored two late goals on Saturday to draw 4-4 with Burton Albion, meaning John Coleman’s side have won one and drawn two of their League One encounters so far.

Forest Green Rovers were promoted as League Two champions last season and have won one, drawn one and lost one of their three league matches so far.

Coleman admits that, since the Reds were promoted as title winners to League One in 2018, the make-up of the division is different.

“It’s ever-changing,” said the Reds boss. “When we made the step, it was a lot more physical. I think there are more teams trying to play now.

“There are bigger names in the league than there were when we made the transition although that’s not a guarantee of success.

“I have watched Forest Green play and have been impressed with them. They will pose different challenges which we will have to overcome.”

Coleman feels the Reds have a strong squad – and, as happened on Saturday, players off the bench are helping to change games.

“Anyone of 11 could have come off on Saturday,” said Coleman. “But we have got a good squad and I will use them more.

“People have always questioned me for not making subs, I still won’t make subs if there is no need to and too many managers make subs when they don’t have to, but I will use them when I think it’s right.

“Jimmy (Bell) made a comment the other day saying we are getting into the realms of having really strong benches this year which is good. People who come on are capable of making a difference.”

Baba Fernandes made his debut for the Reds on Saturday, he gave away a penalty, but the Reds manager was quick to defend him.

“People will think it was a baptism of fire for Baba, he has given a penalty away, but I remember Kevin Long giving a pen away and getting sent off in his first game.

“It’s a bit unfortunate for Baba, he is not a left back and I have to take responsibility for that but we wanted to get some height in there for their long throw bombardment.

“He will get better, he has good pace, he has a good attitude to the game and gives us another strength in our armour of having centre halves who can defend.

“We haven’t got a recognised left back, it’s one of those things, and we will get through it.”

Having conceded four goals on Saturday, Coleman has plenty to think about.

“We have to tighten up in defence, we conceded a couple of really soft goals and I know we could have done better and we are always trying to improve.

“We are playing three up front and I don’t think you can fault us for our attacking prowess in the first four games of the season.

“We have had plenty of attempts on goal in all the games and we are making chances. If you make chances you have just got to try and take a higher proportion of them.

“We have got to build on the momentum of going forward and concentrate on trying to tighten up at the back.”

There are no new injury concerns with defender Michael Nottingham finding out today if he will need an operation.

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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