Accrington Stanley are back in action on Saturday at the Wham Stadium against one of their fellow Play-Off contenders MK Dons.
The Dons Head Coach is Liam Manning who has propelled them into seventh place in League One with five wins in their last 10 league games and they have a major threat in Scott Twine, with 11 goals and seven assists so far this season.
In August, MK Dons beat Stanley 2-0 but the Reds have hit some form, with four wins in the last six league games and three clean sheets on the bounce with John Coleman’s side in 10th place in League One.
It’s Stanley’s first game of 2022 after the Wigan game was called off due to Covid in the Reds camp and Coleman can’t wait to kick start the new year.
“We have less cases of Covid, we are able to fulfil the fixture on Saturday, we do have some sickness in the camp but will have to try and rise above it,” said the Reds boss.
“We have kept three clean sheets but we won’t get carried away. The brutal reality is we have conceded too many goals this season, that’s an ongoing focus of ours to try and rectify that.
“Luck has played its part – Bolton, Rotherham and Shrewsbury all had chances early on and they didn’t go in through a combination of good blocks, good saves and bad misses.
“When you are going through a bad spell they are all going in and once they go in you are playing catch up and usually lose the game.
“The spirit in the camp gets better when you win games, when you keep clean sheets.
“Our first focus is trying to stay in this league for next season which hopefully we will but there is no guarantees for that and then try and kick on like we did towards the back end of last season. Historically we finish seasons strongly.”
He knows the MK Dons will pose a big threat to the Reds as Stanley look to extend their unbeaten run to four league games.
“It will be a smashing game, ours is one of the best pitches in the league, both teams will be able to play on it,” said Coleman.
“MK play some unbelievable football, they are really good to watch, they excite me so we are working on areas where we feel we can exploit them and areas where they are going to pose us a threat.”
Dion Charles has left to join Bolton and Coleman is hopeful of new faces during the January transfer window.
“Hopefully I have three coming in between this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon and possibly another one after that.
“I am hoping three will be permanent, and one either loan or permanent.
“Anyone who comes here has to be prepared to work hard, they have got to understand our club, be hungry, want to succeed, be ambitious and have got to want to earn a lot of money, not with us but use us as a vehicle to go somewhere else and earn money.
“Players who feel they can prove a point with us, they get the best out of us, we get the best out of them and everyone is happy.”
Midfielder David Morgan has returned to light training while captain Seamus Conneely and Joe Pritchard are still battling their way 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!