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INTERVIEW: Coley on Ipswich, transfers and trying to extend five-game unbeaten run

Reds boss has to reshuffle pack with Ross Sykes suspended

20 January 2022

Accrington Stanley will have to keep one of the top scorers in League One quiet when they make the trip to Ipswich Town on Saturday.

The Tractor Boys have scored 43 goals this season but lie in 11th place, one place behind the Reds in the table.

Former Stanley boss Paul Cook was dismissed in early December from the manager’s job at Ipswich with former Man Utd first team coach Kieran McKenna taking over in mid-December.

Ipswich have won three of their last seven league games and have top scorer Macauley Bonne on 12 goals.

Coleman said: “I have a good relationship with Paul Cook with him being there this season and unfortunately getting dismissed, but I was party to when he was making signings as I was speaking to him three or four times a week and I have seen the squad he put together.

“If I am honest, I still think that is the best squad in the league and everyone is waiting for them to get going. Eventually they will get going and will go on a run and that will be down to Paul’s recruitment.

“The new manager has come in and, by all accounts, he has been really good with the players and got them firing and that club will eventually get it right.

“I hope he (Kieran) has a good career but I hope we don’t enhance that on Saturday, I hope we can put a spanner in the works.”

John Coleman will have to shuffle his pack with both Liam Coyle and Ross Sykes suspended as they look to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

“Ross has been outstanding so it’s a blow but it gives other people opportunities. One of the current themes of this season is that, whenever anyone has got an opportunity, they have grabbed it not so much with both hands but both hands, their feet and they have held onto it for dear life.”

The Reds boss also admitted they are short of numbers up front with Dion Charles and Jovan Malcolm both gone in the January transfer window and Joel Mumbongo injured.

“We have lost a few players so that’s something we will have to reinforce and it’s just picking the right ones. You don’t want to jump in and panic but we have got a few irons in the fire.

“Everyone is trying to reinforce and sometimes you can get numbers and not the quality and we don’t want to do that.

“When you are doing ok, you are trying to bring players in that you can’t say you can go straight into the starting XI, that makes it difficult.

“It takes a certain type to perform well at Accrington and, when we get them and get them going, they generally go onto good things.

“Whatever area you want to strengthen is always the hardest, there seems to be a dearth of them. Everyone wants someone who can work their socks off, can win headers, can run the channels and is quick and can score 25 goals. If they can do that, they are going into the Premiership.

“There are lads out there who are looking for an opportunity and we have got to be mindful we get the right ones.”

After a five-game unbeaten run in the league which has propelled Stanley to 10th place and all the work which is going on the Wham Stadium, Coleman admits it’s a happy place to work.

“There is a feel-good factor, it’s a good place to be.

“The best way to foster team spirit is win games, or don’t get beat, or perform well in adversity and we have done all them over the last five weeks.

“The lads are starting to believe in each other, it takes a lot of hard work, and we have got a strong enough squad.

“I was pleased with our performance against Sunderland. They are one of the top teams and if we are slugging it out with one of the top teams and not looking out of place it shows we belong in League One.”

While the Reds boss has talked about incomings, he is also wary that scouts will be looking at his players.

“I have heard nothing and I would like to hear nothing. If clubs are interested you would like them to do it now and not leave it until the end of the month but that’s football.”

Meanwhile, he is hoping Joe Pritchard will be back playing before the end of season. The winger last played in the first team at the end of August and has suffered from a hamstring and muscular injury which has ruled him out since.

“Joe Pritchard is getting there slowly. I still think we will see Joe this year firing and doing well for the club. The reoccurrence of injuries is one that hurts the most. I have no doubt that Joe’s mentally strong to work through it and I know he is desperate to get back playing for himself, the football club and the lads around him.”

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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