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INTERVIEW: Crewe is a test of our promotion credentials says Coley

Pritchard return a boost for Reds ahead of tough away trip

15 December 2023


INTERVIEW: Crewe is a test of our promotion credentials says Coley

Pritchard return a boost for Reds ahead of tough away trip

15 December 2023

John Coleman has his sights set on automatic promotion this season and he knows a win over promotion candidates Crewe on Saturday would show their credentials.

Lee Bell's side are currently fifth in the table and have only lost one League Two clash at home this season. Their top scorer is ex-Red loan striker Courtney Baker-Richardson with nine goals and one assist.

Stanley are in 10th place - six points behind The Railwaymen - and Coleman knows they need to get on a run over the Christmas period.

"We know every game is going to be difficult but we know we are capable of making it difficult for other teams," said Coleman.

"We have a couple of players back now and we have some difficult decisions to make and we have to look at trying to get ourselves into a position where we compete in every game.

"You get freak games - the Swindon game was a freak game where we conceded four - and you wonder have you got the capability of standing up for yourself which we did in the next game, so we have, and we have got to learn that you can't give teams that big a lead.

"We are playing a team who is in form, although they lost their last game, and we have got to play with the attitude we showed on Tuesday against Lincoln.

"We are not going to win every game this season but we are capable of beating any team that we play from now until the end of the season and we have got to have that belief.

"If you play with that belief it gives you a better chance."

Coleman knows, with games coming thick and fast over the festive period, this is a huge time for the Reds to make a move up the table.

"You don’t want to play a raft of games over Christmas and not get any points. This is not really classed as a Christmas game but it can set yourself up for it.

"We are desperate to get back into those Play-Off places and the only way you can do that is by winning games.

"On the flip side, Crewe will be desperate to maintain their challenge for the automatics. We shouldn't write that off ourselves.

"We know we can get on a run, we have done it before, but we have got to believe that we can win a lot of games on the bounce.

"We have got good players, injuries have hampered us a bit, but we are slowly getting players back.

"We need to have the belief and players knowing they have to do their job to the best of their ability, they have to be organised and have to have the determination to not concede, and that has to come from the whole team. I feel it's getting into us now.

"Crewe have had a terrific season so far, Lee Bell has done well. He has organised them, they are playing good football, winning games, and we know ourselves that you can get on a mini-run of games where things just don't go right for you.

"We have had some great encounters with Crewe in the past and hopefully this will go our way."

After being out since mid-November, Joe Pritchard returned against Lincoln in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy victory on Tuesday which was a huge boost.

"It was great to get him on the bench and then come on and he got an assist for the goal.

"Hendo (Alex Henderson) was doing well in that position which bodes well for the future but Joe is a special player at this level and everybody in the league knows that. Having him back is a big bonus.

"Seamus Conneely is fit as well and Kelvin Mellor is a possibility, no one knows more about Crewe than Kelvin.

"We are slowing getting players back and hopefully the others not too serious."

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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