JOHN Coleman returns to the scene of one of Accrington Stanley’s greatest triumphs tomorrow - and hopes for more happy memories.
A 3-1 win at then main rivals Exeter live on Sky virtually sealed the Reds promotion from the Conference and led to their historic return to the Football League in 2006.
The Grecians came through the play-offs for their own Football League return this season and Coleman is hoping to be smiling again when he leaves St James’s Park tomorrow.
"The Exeter win was the one that sealed promotion from the Conference for us really," said Coleman. "It made everyone realise that we weren’t going to go away and it has happy memories for me. It led to the song "We won it on Sky!"
"But now this match is in the Football League and every point is at a premium and we have to try and pick something up there."
Coleman admits it has been something of a stop-start season so far as the loss to Gillingham on Saturday dropped Stanley down to tenth spot.
"It could have been a better start, it is average," he admitted, with two league wins and two losses. "I think the results we have had don’t reflect the performances and we should be one or two more points further on.
"We want to make sure, though, we are in a good position by Christmas, have a big chunk of points, have got ourselves into a good position and then we can push on."
Coleman admits though he needs to bolster his small squad when the emergency loan window opens next Monday.
He is due to sign Blackburn Rovers midfielder Rostyn Griffiths on a month’s loan then.
The 20-year-old Australian international is described as a "calm and composed" player. He played in the 5-3 reserve win over Macclesfield on Wednesday.
And Coleman was impressed by another trialist Anthony Robinson, who was released from Derby last season.
"He caught my eye - he looked a threat and had pace. He scored one goal and was disappointed he didn’t get a couple of others which is a good sign."
And Coleman admits he might be reliant on youngsters for the rest of the campaign. He already has David Worrall, 18, and striker Jamie Clarke, 19, on loan.
"I think we will have to look at young players because of the finances as older players want more money," he said.
"But I still want a winger and another striker."
Stanley midfielder Andy Procter is "touch and go" as he struggles with his knee. "It is one of those that won’t go away. He doesn’t need an operation but if he carries on playing on it it will get worse. He needs to rest," added Coleman.
Leam Richardson is also a doubt with a stomach injury while Jimmy Ryan is away with the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad.