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INTERVIEW: We need to find October form says Coley

Reds boss looks ahead to Emirates FA Cup replay

13 November 2023


INTERVIEW: We need to find October form says Coley

Reds boss looks ahead to Emirates FA Cup replay

13 November 2023

John Coleman is hoping his Accrington Stanley side can recreate their form of last month as they take on Doncaster Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup first round replay.

The Reds drew 2-2 with Rovers at the Eco-Power Stadium and now the sides will battle it out again at the Wham Stadium to face either Salford or Peterborough in the second round, with the pair playing tomorrow night as well.

Stanley went on a five-game winning run in October but, as well as the draw with Grant McCann's side, have lost their last two league encounters.

Coleman said: "We have got to improve defensively as an XI, how we deal with situations, how we deal with danger.

"We had a meeting yesterday with the players and went through it.

"We are still a relatively young team and it's getting that balance between enthusiasm and experience and just knowing what to do in certain situations.

"We are still a work in progress, there were symbols of an improvement about four or five weeks ago where we were scoring goals and we had tightened up at the back.

"We still look like we will score goals but we have got a bit loose again at the back and you are never going to be successful in this league if you can't keep the ball out of your net.

"That is something we are going to have to spend a lot of time on over the next couple of weeks.

"There are teams worse off than ourselves, eighth in the league, but we know there is improvement in us.

"We saw signs of it and we have to get back on that upward curve after two defeats. You will have peaks and troughs throughout the season but you don't want the troughs to be too low so you have to guard against that and work as hard as you can to eliminate them."

In the first game, Doncaster had a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute before a late Seamus Conneely goal secured the draw.

"It will be a tough game and they will be expecting a tough game off us," continued Coleman, with Doncaster 19th in League Two.

"It was certainly a game of two halves - they came out absolutely flying, we didn't.

"We managed to regroup in the second half and do a lot better.

"We have home advantage tomorrow night but it's who performs well on the day.

"We have had some good home performances this season and we have had some not so good home performances so it will be good to have the fans behind us and we have to try and give them what they want, which is a passage into the second round."

Loan striker Josh Andrews is back with Birmingham having treatment for an illness so he is a big doubt.

Tommy Leigh is back after a one-game suspension. Toby Savin, Liam Coyle, Sean McConville and Seb Quirk remain long-term injuries.

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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