Accrington Stanley are looking to go on the attack and break their duck against Sunderland with a bumper crowd expected at the Wham Stadium on Saturday.
The Black Cats have faced the Reds seven times since 2019 – six in the league and once in the cup – and have won five and drawn two. They have also won all their four trips to Accrington.
Lee Johnson’s men sit second in the League One table, with one loss in their last 12 league games which came on Tuesday against Lincoln in a 3-1 defeat with Carl Winchester sent off and Johnson sent to the stands.
11th placed Stanley are in a run of form, unbeaten in four, but will be without midfielder Liam Coyle who was sent off in the 1-1 draw against MK Dons last weekend.
New signing Rosaire Longelo, signed permanently from Newcastle, has now trained with the Reds for a week and will hope to feature in the squad tomorrow.
Stanley lost 2-1 at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season but boss John Coleman felt his side could take heart from their performance there and their recent run of form.
“We played really well at their place, we had 23 shots and attacked them really well, the game could have gone either way,” said the Reds boss.
“Six weeks ago we were leaking goals like a sieve and you couldn’t put your finger on it as we defended quite well in those games but we getting punished for every mistake we made.
“We have had an upturn in form, not so much an upturn in performance, and had a little bit of luck along the way.
“We would like to be more offensive in our play. Joe Pritchard being out has been a really big loss for us because he is one of the best players in the league at running at people. That’s something we haven’t got enough of at the moment in our squad so we might try and rectify that during the transfer window.
“Hopefully Rosaire will give us one of the answers to that. We are always looking to be more offensive, more attacking, score more goals and keep them out the other end.
“Our defence is not now watertight, we are always working on that, and we know the threat Sunderland will pose.
“They even posed a threat on Tuesday night when down to ten men but what we have got to start focusing on is what we are going to do to teams, particularly at home and we have to put pressure on them and get them worrying about our players. We have good attacking players who can create and score goals and play some good football.”
With Coyle suspended, Coleman confirmed Tommy Leigh is touch and go while David Morgan is ‘getting back to fitness.’
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!