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INTERVIEW: Coley looks ahead to Portsmouth

John Coleman wants his Stanley side to concentrate on their own performance at Fratton Park

3 March 2022

John Coleman says Accrington Stanley have to put their away record out of their minds and concentrate on their own performance when they travel to Portsmouth on Saturday.

The Reds have only won three games on their travels this season - Crewe, Charlton and Lincoln - and have lost their last four games away from the Wham Stadium.

They last won away on 27th November and Coleman knows they need to turn this around against 10th place Portsmouth, who are unbeaten in five games and who do have one of the best defences in League One.

"When we go away, we try to do things as well as we can, sometimes we train on the ground and then travel, sometimes we train on the way.

"You are always trying to find a way that gets you into the best condition you can for the game on Saturday.

"You have to be careful you don't get caught up in superstition, 'we didn't do this and we won so we won't do it' - it's a load of nonsense.

"We have got to get it out of our heads and go there believing we are going to win, we did last year and I know we are capable of winning.

"You have got to ignore the away record, we have been doing it for years. If you start talking about it you start thinking about it so we have to put it to one side and focus on how we play, getting our game plan right, our style of play right and what we are going to do, people's individual jobs nailed down and if you spend enough time thinking about them you will forget about everything else."

He knows Pompey, managed by Danny and Nicky Cowley, will represent tough opposition. They came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Fleetwood on Saturday and beat in-form Oxford 3-2 during the week.

"They are a good side so it will be difficult. I have a lot of time for the Cowleys, they have been different for football, their approach is different, probably not everyone's cup of tea the way they go about themselves but I just love people who are so dedicated to football and improving football and improving themselves.

"I have a lot of admiration for Danny and Nicky for the way they conduct themselves. They love football and are not afraid to show it, they try new things and keep learning and have done well at the clubs they have been at.

"They have a chance to take a really big club wherever they want.

"Of our away wins, Charlton and Lincoln and Crewe are not too shabby and we have won at those grounds this season. We have just got to try and win a game of football, whenever it's played it's on a pitch with corner flags and goals at both ends.

"I haven't been happy with our performances away from home, we have had quite a few poor performances, big parts of games, Burton away we absolutely capitulated but we have played ok in games but we rarely do that at home, we rarely play poorly for big periods. We have to take the venue out the equation and get back to focusing on how we play."

Yeboah Amankwah is back in training but Mitch Clark begings the first of a three-game ban following his late sending off in the win over Wycombe on Saturday. Jay Rich-Baghuelou is still struggling with an ankle injury.

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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