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INTERVIEW: Coley to reshuffle pack for Colchester clash

Reds strive to make it five League Two wins on bounce

26 October 2023


INTERVIEW: Coley to reshuffle pack for Colchester clash

Reds strive to make it five League Two wins on bounce

26 October 2023

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman will be without two defenders as the Reds look to win their fifth League Two game on the bounce against 21st-placed Colchester United.

Both Jay Rich-Baghuelou and Brad Hills picked up their fifth bookings of the season in the 4-2 win over AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday which took the Reds up to sixth place in the table.

Norwich loan defender Hills had started every game so far this season and Coleman admits it's a big loss.

"It's a blow to lose them both particularly how well they have been playing," said the Reds manager.

"Having seen all five bookings for both, they probably should have had three but these are the rules this season and there will be loads of teams in the same boat.

"What it does do is give a marvellous opportunity to another couple of our players to step into their shoes in a team which is full of confidence."

Colchester sacked manager Ben Garner four days ago, replaced by interim boss Matty Etherington who saw his side beat Grimsby midweek.

"They have had some good results this season. Gillingham were flying high when they turned them over, they beat Notts County and they had a good win during the week.

"For us, every team I pick is on its merit. I have never been afraid to change a winning team as you are faced with different challenges from every opposition."

Coleman knows his side now have momentum and he needs to keep them on their toes if they are to gain promotion, as they did in 2018.

"You have to have competition for places and everyone pushing each other in a good healthy way, in a good competitive spirit which brings out the best of everyone.

"To stay on a run you have to constantly remind players how good it feels, the good attributes and also unpick things which haven't gone so well and where we can improve.

"You have to cash in on the positivity and the feel-good factor.

"I have a great set of lads in there and they are starting to want to fight for each other, they know how much it means to the coaching staff and they know that if they can fight for everything, keep the levels of competitiveness we have shown over the last three or four weeks, then the rewards are there to be gained.

"When they get it right, they can play some fantastic football.

"I thought on Saturday against MK Dons was our best performance.

"I know Tuesday was our best performance and we have got to try and keep recreating that."

Tommy Leigh twisted his ankle at Wimbledon and will face a late fitness test.

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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