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Daggers clash is biggest game of the season: boss

ACCRINGTON STANLEY boss John Coleman has described Saturday's clash as "the biggest game of the season" as his side look to boost their Conference play-off push.

ACCRINGTON STANLEY boss John Coleman has described Saturday's clash as "the biggest game of the season" as his side look to boost their Conference play-off push.

The Reds welcome Dagenham and Redbridge to the Interlink for their first Saturday home league game since Aldershot on December 13.

And the Reds boss is urging fans to get behind his team for the final 14 games of the season.

"Dagenham is a massive game for us," said the Reds chief. "The cup games were important but this one gives us a great chance to catch-up with some of the teams above us. I would say it is our biggest game of the season so far."

"We have got to get the three points. Barnet play Aldershot tonight and something has got to give there and we have got to capitalise on that and get a win. We have got to exploit it if anybody slips up above us."

"The fans have been great this season and we just want them to carry on supporting us and helping us to the victories. There was about 150 at Bamber Bridge on Tuesday and, with the covered end, they made so much noise. We need them."

Stanley won the Lancashire FA Marsden clash against the UniBond First Division promotion chasers 2-1 and will now face either Radcliffe, Chorley or Morecambe in the semi-final with the draw tonight. "I do want to win every game and we want to win that trophy," continued Coleman. "But tomorrow is huge for us."

Coleman has a shortage of defenders with Steve Halford and Peter Cavanagh suspended and Robbie Williams and Steve Hollis one booking off a suspension.

Jonathan Smith was on his way back following a knee ligament injury but fell on the ice while walking his dog on Thursday morning and injured his wrist. "I could be out for about a month - I have taken a bit of stick," said the defender. "It is frustrating as I just wanted to get some games under my belt."

Coleman did make an enquiry about Scunthorpe's centre half Jamie McCombe, who has been on loan at Halifax this season and scored for them against Dagenham. But, due to the Irons injury crisis, it is no go for the moment. "The deal isn't definitely off but we will have to see what happens with their injuries." said the boss.

McCombe, 21, has been in and out of the Scunthorpe team over the last two seasons but is thought to be one to watch for the future.

Coleman has now turned his attention to a First Division defender who he was set to speak to as the Observer went to press.

Ged Brannan came in to the centre half position for the Bridge game."It was a false game to say how well he did as he didn't have the pressure of the Conference and Bamber Bridge didn't play the pattern of a Conference club. But we got an away win and got through so he did okay."

Andy Procter should be back after being rested on Tuesday while Paul Cook hopes to be fit to play tomorrow after recovering from an ankle injury. Steve Flitcroft was suspended for the Bridge game.

"We can play better than we have been doing in recent games. We have only shown it in parts against Tamworth and Burton. We have got to show it in every game between now and the end of the season and be more consistent."


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