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INTERVIEW: Jimmy wants the Wham rocking

Bell relishing Derby County challenge

13 October 2022


INTERVIEW: Jimmy wants the Wham rocking

Bell relishing Derby County challenge

13 October 2022

Jimmy Bell hopes the Wham Stadium is rocking when Derby County visit on Saturday as Accrington Stanley look to make an impression towards the top of the table.

County have sold out their 2,631 allocation and come with new boss Paul Warne in charge, just one point above the 13th placed Reds.

Derby have fought for their existence over the last few years, spending nine months in administration before a takeover in July.

They had a 21-point deduction last season and were relegated from the Championship.

Then manager Wayne Rooney left for the MLS in June and interim boss Liam Rosenior was in charge before ex-Rotherham manager Warne took over two games ago, with one win and one defeat.

Stanley – who lost to Derby in the fourth round of the FA Cup in January 2019 – come into the game after three wins before they lost to league leaders Plymouth on Saturday, with captain Seamus Conneely sent off and now facing a three-match ban.

“Looking back at Plymouth, we have gone through the game, it was never a 3-0 game and we will take the positives from it,” said assistant boss Bell.

“We have gone toe-to-toe with the league leaders and we are still smarting, we missed chances and certainly their first goal was avoidable.

“We didn’t appeal the red card. In my opinion, Seamus was very very unfortunate to get sent off but we didn’t think we would win an appeal, there is a cost involved, and we have to take it on the chin and move on and we are really looking forward to Derby.

“Derby are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, club in League One along with Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, Portsmouth – they are all massive clubs.

“We will relish Derby coming here, they fought with everything to stay alive as a club and you can only commend them on that. They have done magnificently to even put a team out at one stage.

“It is a strong team and I still think they are finding the way. It’s a very difficult league, a lot different to what they have experienced over the last 30-40 years and they will get it right.

“They have a very good manager in Paul Warne. He has took over a group of players who are very good experienced players, and I am sure he will get a tune out of them. He will stamp his own authority and identity onto their style of play. His record is second to none at this standard.

“But what we will be telling the lads is it’s 11 v 11 on our hallowed turf. We are playing a League One team on an even keel on our pitch.

“Our players give absolutely everything every time they put an Accrington shirt on and it will be a great crowd, a great day.”

Stanley’s home form has been strong – they have only two defeats in this calendar year and nine wins and ten draws.

“Our home form over the last couple of seasons has been rock solid.

“If you are to stay in this division and challenge up the top, you have got to win your home games and we probably need to turn draws into wins to climb that table.

“It is ironic that if we win on Saturday we will go above Derby, I know they have a game in hand, but  that’s a big step to staying in this league.

“With over a quarter of the season gone, you can now start figuring out where you are going to be come May-time.”

Stanley are without striker Matt Lowe who is out for a few months following a hip operation but Rosaire Longelo and striker Touray Sisay, who has yet to make his Stanley debut after signing in the summer, are in contention.

“We know we have to improve in certain areas. I am sure the likes of Tommy Leigh will show what he can do in front of goal. Tommy has led the line magnificently and it’s also good to have Joe Pritchard back. There are goals in our team.

“We have had words with Shaun Whalley, he is just missing a goal but he is getting into great areas, but he has got to be more ruthless. Sean McConville has a magnificent this season.

“Rosaire was back training this week and he will come into contention and Touray Sisay has trained and played 30 minutes in a game midweek and he will come into contention.

“I feel for Matt. He is a smashing lad, he is committed and does everything right and I feel for him. He is very positive though and he will bounce back and be a stronger player for it.”

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

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