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INTERVIEW: We need to take feel-good factor into league says Coley

Massive game against Bristol Rovers with bucket collection for Nick Anderton

12 January 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: We need to take feel-good factor into league says Coley

Massive game against Bristol Rovers with bucket collection for Nick Anderton

12 January 2023

John Coleman needs the feel-good factor from their Papa Johns Trophy success to translate into League One as Accrington Stanley look to move out of the relegation zone.

The Reds take on eighth place Bristol Rovers on Saturday at the Wham Stadium, on the hunt for their first league win at home since Morecambe on October 1st.

Joey Barton’s side have former Reds Sam Finley and Nick Anderton in their squad with the latter currently undergoing treatment for a rare form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma.

The two clubs will come together to have a bucket collection on Saturday for defender Anderton, who has a young family, with son George born this week.

Anderton spent time on loan with the Reds in 2018/19 and Coleman said: "Nick is a great lad, a decent player for us and, even though he wasn’t here a long time, he left an imprint on the way he conducted himself here.

"He is a very good character, a good footballer and he has got all the support of our dressing room and the players who played with him here.

"A lot have messaged him, I have text him. I hope everything works out for him and he gets back out onto the pitch, that would be remarkable for him.

"Nick will be a good ambassador for players getting checked out, how he has approached his battle with the disease, which is unforgiving, and how he has a positive, no-nonsense approach to it."

On the pitch, Coleman is focused on getting that elusive win to propel his side up the table but got a boost with the midweek penalty win over Lincoln which puts the Reds one game from Wembley in the Papa Johns Trophy.

"There is a feel-good factor, we got through to the semi-finals and we have got to build on that. You have to use the cup exploits to motivate yourself and give an idea of what you can do right and what you have done wrong.

"Our lads know how important the league is and trying to maintain League One status is, they won’t get sidetracked by the cups.

"It does seem like forever since we won at home in the league. We can’t dwell too much on what we haven’t done in the past, we have to look at what we can do going forward.

"Bristol Rovers have good players, they have improved dramatically since we beat them at their place in September with results and they have got an understanding of this league.

"They have brought good players in, they have experience and they have players who know how to play the game. They are in a good vein of form, generally there are plenty of goals in their games so hopefully we can get a couple and keep them out at the other end.

"I think there are about seven teams in the relegation battle but there is half the season to go and we have to better our total from this first half.

"You have to focus on your own game and try and pick up three points every time they become available for you. There are 69 points available and if you can take half of them you have a good chance of staying up.

"We have a set of lads, hopefully a couple coming in as well and and a couple coming back, and we got to have our faith in them. We have to believe the ones who are fit can do a job for us."

Defender Michael Nottingham is on his way back after missing the whole season so far while Doug Tharme is fighting a calf injury but is back in training.

Mo Sangare is getting closer to battling for a squad place but, after taking a blow to the face on Tuesday, Harvey Rodgers is a doubt with that injury. Tommy Leigh had a dead leg and missed Tuesday’s match.

Coleman added: "Harvey can’t see out of his right eye at the moment, hopefully that will clear up for the weekend but it’s a worry and we will just have to see how Tommy goes.

"With Doug Tharme, we have got to see when his calf injury clears up. He is been back training so hopefully it won’t be too long."

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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