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INTERVIEW: No old pals act for Coley

Reds boss has friends at Plymouth - but is out to beat them on Saturday

17 March 2022

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman is out to upset a few friends as he looks to build on Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

Stanley have struggled on their travels this season but halted a run of five away defeats with the point at Hillsborough.

They now travel to Play-Off hopefuls Plymouth on Saturday, who are on a good run of form with four wins in their last four games which has propelled them into fifth place.

Among their staff is former Reds defender Mark Hughes, first team coach with the Pilgrims, a popular figure and a big part of Stanley’s title-winning season in 2018.

Coleman also knows manager Steven Schumacher as well as midfielder Conor Grant.

“They are on a good run of form, I know Steven Schumacher really well, Mark Hughes is there as well and Conor Grant plays there, who I have known since he was a baby, so I do take an avid interest in their results from that point of view.

“They have been doing really well and, if I would like to see a team prosper in this league, they would be one of them but not this Saturday because the overriding desire for us is to win and that can’t be taken away for us.

“Mark has a good personality, he is level headed, I have known all his family for 50-odd years so I know what stock he comes from and he has a lot knowledge he can pass on.

“Conor Grant is a really nice lad, that’s a credit to his family and himself and he is a very good footballer. I know there are Championship teams courting him and why not because he has been doing well? He can possibly make another step into the Championship, hopefully with Plymouth. He has had a good career already and he can only get better.”

Coleman hopes the point on the road midweek has helped their away hoodoo.

“You just want to get something for your efforts, sometimes we have deserved nothing from away games, other times we have and have had a little bit of bad fortune.

“The players stuck at it on Tuesday and it was a relief to score, that’s been a problem, scoring away goals and probably the irony of it is that was probably the least chances created the other night and we scored.

“Football is a funny old game, as someone once said, and just when you think you have cracked it you realise you haven’t as things go awry.

“When things sometimes are down and you feel like you can be at your lowest ebb all of a sudden you perk up and you get something from nowhere and a slice of good fortune. If you take the goal, it’s harsh taking it off Ross (Sykes) but it’s fortune. The keeper is pushing it out and possibly the defender could clear it and it hits both of them and goes in. Sometimes you need that luck.

“The good thing is we aren’t on that losing streak away from home now, we have actually scored as well, and I would still like us to play a bit better. You have to give the opposition credit and Sheffield Wednesday are a good team.

“We come up against another good team now Plymouth who have been in really good form. They have won their last four, and Plymouth will be going into it cock-a-hoop and it’s up to us to try and find a formula and counter what they do and try and pose them some problems themselves.”

Mitch Clark returns from a three-match ban but Tommy Leigh sits out the second of his three-match suspension.

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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