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INTERVIEW: Coley treating Liverpool as a league game

Victory will guarantee place in knock-out stages of Papa Johns Trophy

17 October 2022

Accrington Stanley have to win by two clear goals tomorrow night to guarantee their place in the knock-out stages of the Papa Johns Trophy.

The Reds take on Liverpool Under-21s in the final Group D game at the Wham Stadium (ko 7.45pm) with Salford ahead of them on five points and Rochdale on four. They play each other, kicking off at 7pm.

Stanley have three points after drawing their first two games – but winning against Dale on penalties to pick up an extra point.

Liverpool Under-21s have lost their two games – but they have been close encounters.

“For me, it’s a really good idea this cup," said Coleman. "I know other people don’t subscribe to it, I like it, I love playing games and being involved in football matches.

“It is a knock-out game and we have got to do everything we can to win the game.

“We will treat this game like a league game. We have to be mindful of what Liverpool can do to us. They are youngsters but they will be keen. They wouldn’t be at Liverpool if they didn’t have very good technical ability so it won’t be an easy game.

“You look at Under-23 players and I think they come on leaps and bounds when go out on loan.

“For example, Ryan Astley, I have seen him play for Everton Under-23s, but he will learn a lot more playing in League One games.

“They are more competitive, there are points, league positions and bonuses at stake and he will learn more here than playing Under-23s in my opinion.”

The injury jinx has struck again at the Wham with defender Mo Sangare suffering ligament damage in the 3-0 loss to Derby County while Joe Pritchard is out with a hand injury.

Seamus Conneely, currently in the middle of a three-game league ban, can play in this competition.

“This is by far and away the worst for injuries," continued Coleman. "I can’t remember having this many and add to this we feel a harsh suspension for Seamus so your numbers get quickly depleted.

“However, as long as we can patch a team together I am confident that whoever I put in will give their all.”

Up front, Coleman now does have options with Nathan Delfouneso and Touray Sisay both coming on against the Rams.

“They both need to get more games under their belt and this is a chance to get them up to match speed.”

The full pre-match interview with John Coleman is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!

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