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Coleman: We want the play-offs

JOHN Coleman has set his sights on taking Accrington Stanley into the play-offs in their first season in the Nationwide Conference.

AIMING HIGH ... Stanley’s Paul Mullin
AIMING HIGH ... Stanley’s Paul Mullin

JOHN Coleman has set his sights on taking Accrington Stanley into the play-offs in their first season in the Nationwide Conference.

After 10 games, the Reds' chief has looked at the league and knows his side have nothing to fear. They are currently seventh in the table and on a six-game unbeaten run ahead of the visit of Woking to the Interlink Express Stadium on Saturday.

"We are not saying we are the best team in the league as the top three are strong but we know we have nothing to fear," said Coleman. "When we started we didn't know what to expect. But we have played 10 games now and we have to aim as high as we can. If you don't achieve it at least you can say you had a go.

"There are five spots to go for in the play-offs and we have to make that our aim. We might not get there, we might be a long way off, but if you aim high people get focused on what you're trying to achieve.''

He continued: "We are capable of mounting a challenge although the benefit of being full-time kicks in around Christmas when the pitches are heavier and the part-time teams have lost the boost from pre-season training. That will be our test but we will see how it goes up until then. We have just to make sure we are consistent.

"There are no 'gimmes' in this league, you have to work hard for every point, but I think we have a good squad and team spirit. There are no superstars in this team."

Striker Paul Mullin, who scored on Saturday in the 1-0 win at Dagenham and then slotted home the opener in the 3-1 victory over Burton on Tuesday night, says the team have the belief.

"It is still early days, there is only a quarter of the season gone, but a lot of the squad are coming to the conclusion that we have nothing to be afraid of. I think we struggled in the first few games but we have found our feet now. I want to play as high as I can, as every player does, and I am sure the team is capable of the play-offs.

"We have just got to continue working hard - and I am going to concentrate on my finishing! I should have got a couple against Burton but I am getting into those positions where I can score and, even if I miss, I will make sure I carry on getting into those positions. I am happy with the way things have been going for me. I missed some pre-season so it did take me longer but it is nice now to be getting the goals. It is nice to be testing myself week in week out against good opposition - and winning!"

Stanley will hope to make it four wins on the trot with the visit of Woking, who are level on points with the Reds.

"They are a decent name in non-league but I am sure a few teams now will be sitting up and taking notice of us," said Coleman. "It takes time to get respect but hopefully we are getting that now."

Paul Cook returns following his three-match suspension but winger Dean Calcutt could be out for up to six weeks with a broken wrist.

  • STANLEY reserves beat Barrow 4-2 to keep their place at the top of the Lancashire League table. They face Workington reserves on Friday at Great Harwood FC (ko 7.30pm).


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