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INTERVIEW: Coley looks ahead to derby clash at Morecambe

Reds boss needs fast start at Mazuma Mobile Stadium

2 October 2023

John Coleman knows his Accrington Stanley need to get off to a flying start at Lancashire rivals Morecambe tomorrow night as they bid to claim the three points and the bragging rights.

The Reds have conceded goals in the first 20 minutes in their last two games and so Coleman is fully focused on making sure his Stanley side are on it from the off as they look to overcome the 12th placed Shrimps at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, who are one point ahead of the Reds and have played a game less.

Coleman said: "We have to keep on hammering home the message in training and play with more oomph, endeavour and vigour from the start.

"I don’t think we did that against Stockport on Saturday, we didn’t put them under a significant amount of pressure.

"I don’t think we grasped the importance of the game – that’s what you probably get with a young squad, loan players who are coming to terms with what it means to be playing in games that really matter.

"It’s going to be a learning curve for them and sometimes you have to go through a bit of pain if you believe in them.

"I think they are good players but we are always striving to be better and it’s our job on the training pitch to instil that into them.

"With young players they are going to make sloppy mistakes, they will lose focus, get giddy and get carried away with the game and it’s our job to keep them grounded and focused.

"We are still trying to coach young players their roles and responsibilities. When you have possibly too many young players, which we have at the moment, and when the likes of your senior figures like Seamus Conneely and Sean McConville who you would rely on to give solidarity, when they are missing it become more and more difficult but we are still embracing the challenge ahead."

Stanley rallied especially for the final 20 minutes against County, with Jack Nolan scoring and Rosaire Longelo’s shot tipped onto the woodwork and Coleman wants more of that from the off.

"We have got to focus on our game, we have to get it right, we have got the players there and we saw in patches and glimpses of what we can do on Saturday.

"It’s getting them to do it on a more consistent basis and getting more fire in the belly to not concede, from the whole team."

Former Morecambe striker Coleman knows how much the derby means to the fans and has been drilling it into the players.

They also now have former Reds coach Ged Brannan on Derek Adams’ coaching staff.

"We are trying to stress the importance of winning any game and not conceding goals but it’s something we have touched on, how important this game is for the fans, the players have got to realise this.

"But we are trying not to focus on the opposition too much but on how we approach the game.

"We have to be more clinical and be more resilient at the back as a team.

"We have to just get back to playing the way I know we can play. When they are on-form and you get the ball to Shaun Whalley, Joe Pritchard, Jack Nolan, Rosaire Longelo and Tommy Leigh they will cause problems and they have got to start causing more problems."

The Shrimps top scorer is Michael Mellon, on loan from Burnley, with six goals and they have former Red Farrend Rawson in their ranks.

"Morecambe’s operating costs will be a lot higher than us," added Coleman. "They will have players on more money than our players but it’s a churlish argument when it boils down it's 11 v 11. It’s not bothered us in the past and it shouldn’t bother us now. There wouldn’t be much it.

"It’s down to how much you get your players going and how much hunger you can instil in them. We have never had a problem doing that."

Seb Quirk came off injured just 90 seconds after coming on against Stockport and he will out for six-eight weeks.

Jay Rich-Baghuelou sits out the second game of his suspension with Liam Coyle absent (hernia) and captain Seamus Conneely being monitored (calf).

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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