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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Coley previews Harrogate

Stanley manager John Coleman discusses Saturday's Sky Bet League Two fixture against Harrogate Town

17 August 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: Coley previews Harrogate

Stanley manager John Coleman discusses Saturday's Sky Bet League Two fixture against Harrogate Town

17 August 2023

John Coleman says he is learning all the time about his players and League Two as they face Harrogate Town at home on Saturday.

It’s the clash of the EFL’s top two long-serving managers with Town’s Simon Weaver appointed player-manager in 2009 and leading them into the National League and then the Football League in 2020.

Coleman returned to Stanley in 2014 – after being in charge from 1999-2012 and leading the Reds from the UniBond First Division into the EFL in 2006.

The last time these two sides met in the league was in the UniBond Premier League 2002/03 campaign.

Harrogate have won one of their opening three league games and lost the other two with Stanley winning 3-0 against Newport, drawing 1-1 with Barrow on Tuesday and losing at Gillingham.

Coleman said: "We are all learning all the time. I am learning about the players. This league will pose different problems, different styles of football, that have to be coped with.

"We made a host of substitutions winning 1-0 against Newport and it had a positive effect.

"I don’t think they did against Barrow and that’s the luck of the draw when you are a manager.

"You hope they have an impact but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

"We have been good, in the past, at seeing games out when we are winning 1-0 but we didn’t have the experienced players on the pitch to see it out on Tuesday with Seamus (Conneely) and Sean (McConville) coming off.

"It is a balancing act as, if they had played the full 90 minutes, they might not have been fit for this weekend’s game. We have to manage the older players and younger players in different ways.

"We still got a point, we are in top half of table and have to be positive in outlook and get the best out of the players that we have got here.

"We will have bumps in the road but if you keep true to your beliefs you will get what you want.”

Coleman knows Harrogate Town will prove tricky opposition for the Reds on Saturday. They have former Stanley loanees Liam Gibson and Luke Armstrong in their squad.

"They have spent a little bit more than I anticipated they would spend," said Coleman.

"It’s one of those games, you can see them one day and they are very, very good and then another not as good and that’s the inconsistency that plagues the lower league teams.

"They have got good players and I believe every game we play in League Two will be tough.

"Climbing through the leagues, we have always had to stick our chest out and fight for every scrap and advancement we have made. Why should that change?

"It’s not dropped into your lap, we have to fight for everything we get here because of the way we are run.

"The club is in safe hands with Andy Holt, he has improved the infrastructure of the club, we have a cracking coaching staff who are very good at their jobs and a good set of honest players and we have to mould them into a winning team."

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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