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INTERVIEW: Clean sheet is a priority says Andy

Goalkeeping Coach previews trip to Swindon Town

11 March 2024


INTERVIEW: Clean sheet is a priority says Andy

Goalkeeping Coach previews trip to Swindon Town

11 March 2024

Andy Dibble's full focus is on coaching Accrington Stanley to firstly a clean sheet tomorrow night as they travel to Swindon Town - and then building on that.

The Goalkeeping Coach is helping Interim Manager John Doolan try and halt a run of four successive losses with the young Reds side conceding seven goals in the last two games.

Stanley are currently 16th in League Two with Swindon two points and two places below them, having played a game more.

Swindon too have an Interim Manager in Gavin Gunning, who took over in January following the departure of Michael Flynn.

Stanley were 3-0 down at half-time to Bradford City on Saturday and Dibble knows they have to tighten up at the back.

"In the first half, we let in some poor goals, we can't hide that, but I thought we were really good in the second half.

"We have got to go to Swindon and be positive and clean up the defensive errors. One thing I would love is a clean sheet for my goalkeeper.

"We need to keep encouraging a very young team, keep them smiling, and cut out the errors that happened on Saturday and try and score some goals.

"Football isn't rocket science, you can't keep conceding early in games. We have to dust ourselves down from Saturday and stop the rot.

"We have ten games to go and we have got to try and win as many of next ten games as we can.

"I look at it differently being an ex-goalkeeper as I know how much clean sheets mean and we have not had enough of them this season so that would be my first priority on Tuesday, keep the ball out of the net."

The clash between the two in November was certainly entertaining even if it wasn't the result Stanley wanted.

Swindon were 4-0 up with 89 minutes gone and then Stanley scored three in added time and weren't far off an equaliser.

Dibble continued: "Looking back at the Swindon game at home, it was one of most incredible games I have seen here.

"We were 4-0 down and came back to 4-3 and nearly got something in the last minute. You can't question the group of lads here, their character and spirit.

"Swindon obviously had a different manager then and I was with Gavin Gunning when I was goalkeeper coach at Rotherham as he came in as a player under Steve Evans.

"Their form is indifferent, their style of play has changed, they are more direct and we have to be up to the physical side of it.

"We will go down and be as best prepared as we can and try and get the clean sheet we need."

Dibble is supporting John Doolan all he can as the games come thick and fast.

"John has taken the reins and I will try and help him in each and every way I can.

"I love my position as Goalkeeping Coach but, if I am asked to do more, I am more than prepared.

"I have loved every minute of being back here and I will try and lift everyone. It's been a difficult week, and we have to go on and get some results for the football club.

"It's interesting as, with more involvement, you see a different side. What we need is a couple of results to put smiles on everyone's faces and we will be doing the best we can to provide that."

Meanwhile Dibble is also concentrating on his first job, of coaching Manchester United loan keeper Radek Vitek, preparing Toby Savin as he comes back from injury and also working with Jack McIntyre.

"Radek is a big honest guy, who is great to work with. Toby is coming back and just needs a few reserve games under his belt.

"We look as if we are getting some of the senior players back over the next few weeks. We need more bodies as we are thin on numbers and it's a very young team."

Brad Hills makes his return following a four-game suspension but Lewis Shipley is still banned. It's hoped Kelvin Mellor has recovered from illness.

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