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INTERVIEW: Coley hopes for same Walsall result

Reds need win to boost Play-Off battle

19 January 2024


INTERVIEW: Coley hopes for same Walsall result

Reds need win to boost Play-Off battle

19 January 2024

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is hoping his side can replicate the scoreline the last time they faced Walsall just five League Two games ago.

The two sides met at the Wham Stadium on December 23rd with Stanley 2-1 victors thanks to goals from Tommy Leigh and Joe Pritchard.

Since then, Stanley have won one, drawn one and lost two league games and are 12th in the table.

The Saddlers are in 13th place, two points behind Stanley but with a game in hand.

Top scorer Freddie Draper has returned to parent club Lincoln City while they have signed West Brom striker Mo Faal on loan until the end of the season - he has faced Stanley already this season for Doncaster Rovers.

Coleman said: "This will be a difficult game, conditions were hard to overcome when we played them in December and a few of our games have been like that recently - where the bounce of the ball will determine the result.

"Sometimes they go for you as they did on that day and sometimes they go against you as they did on Saturday against Gillingham.

"All you can do is keep plugging away and do your best to iron out the mistakes and try to be a little bit more punishing at the other end.

"When I look back at the Gillingham defeat, it's a game we could have won and we certainly shouldn't have lost it but that's football.

"We have a young team - that's the predominant factor of our team at the moment, we are young and we are going to make mistakes. They quicker they learn from their mistakes the better we will be."

It's tight in the push for the Play-Off places with Stanley four points off seventh place MK Dons.

Coleman continued: "There is still a lot to play for. We have had meetings with the players about where we want to go, what we want to achieve this season.

"The big thing we have got to do is eliminate relegation. That's what we have focused on.

"We know what Walsall are about. There are lots of teams who have gone on mini-runs and we have been one of them.

"It's trying to keep that consistency going and the teams who do, who get on longer runs, they will end up getting promoted.

"Walsall will pose problems, they have good players and we have to try and up our game every time we play and try and eliminate the silly goals we have been conceding."

Teenage midfielder Alex Henderson has burst onto the scene with two goals in two games - his first senior goals - but Stanley have lost both matches.

"Alex always had the confidence. He was training with us every day and you could see what he would bring to the party.

"The pleasing thing is that when he came on as a sub, he never seemed over-awed. He handled the ball and had the physical strength to cope with it and it was a natural progression for him to start games.

"I was joking with him the other day saying he needs to stop scoring as we keep losing when he scores, but he has got that talent and he can go a long way if he works hard."

Stanley keeper Jack McIntyre could make his first league start as QPR loan stopper Joe Walsh has been recalled to his parent club.

Defender Jay Rich-Baghuelou could also be back in the frame for tomorrow's game.

Tommy Leigh and Sean McConville are a couple of weeks away while Shaun Whalley, Liam Coyle, Rosaire Longelo and Matt Lowe remain long-term casualties.

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