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Jacko keen to be a hit

HOT SHOT Justin Jackson knows he might have to wait for his Accrington Stanley chance - but aims to seize it when it comes.

HIT MAN: Justin Jackson, far left, with John Coleman
HIT MAN: Justin Jackson, far left, with John Coleman

HOT SHOT Justin Jackson knows he might have to wait for his Accrington Stanley chance - but aims to seize it when it comes.

The 28-year-old striker watched Stanley defeat Farnborough on Saturday with Paul Mullin and Lutel James continuing their scoring spree as the Reds extended their unbeaten run to 10 games.

Stanley boss John Coleman has been tracking Jackson for over a month before he signed him last Saturday on a two-year deal. And the former Morecambe striker knows he faces a battle to get in the team - starting with tomorrow's clash at home to Exeter.

"I wouldn't expect to walk straight into the side," said Jackson. "Accrington are really good going forward and strong at the back - they are not the type of players I would want to play against! They are on a great run and I won't be surprised if I am not playing. I will wait my turn, keep my fingers crossed and hopefully get off to a good start."

Jackson, who started his career at Woking before moving on to Notts County, is proven at Conference level. He scored 29 goals in 38 games for Morecambe in 1999/2000 when the Shrimps finished third. He then moved to Rushden and Diamonds for £180,000 the following season.

"I scored 24 goals at Rushden and enjoyed it." This helped them on their way to the Conference championship. He signed for Doncaster Rovers in September 2001 for £120,000 but things didn't go to plan there, with five goals in 30 league starts, and Rovers released him last week.

He said: "I played well enough at Doncaster in my first season but I just didn't have that bit of luck. I hit the bar, shot just wide - things just didn't go for me. I guess if they went well all the time I would be playing in the Premier League!"

That is when Coleman moved in.

"When I knew Accrington were interested, I wanted to talk to them," continued Jackson. "Coley is ambitious and they believe they can make the play-offs and they stand a decent chance. And then they might go full-time next season. John wanted me at the club and once I spoke to him, I wanted to come here. I guess with the goals I scored at Morecambe there is a lot of expectation on me but that is my job - to score goals - and I can handle that."

Meanwhile Coleman had hoped to add Hull defender Steve Burton to his squad last week but City boss Peter Taylor needed the left back at the last minute to cover injuries. Coleman was talking to Taylor last night to see if he could have Burton for tomorrow's clash.

"When I played I liked players coming in because it shows you are ambitious," said the Reds chief. "Some players might have to go, but you always want to better yourself as a team member. We wanted a striker - hopefully Justin will have the hunger to do well for us. And we want players in other areas as well."

New boy Lee Madin came on for the final minutes against Farnborough and Coleman has been impressed with what he has seen from the 20-year-old striker.

"Lee seems to have no problem finding the back of the net whatever level. He did well in training. And Justin looked sharp. I would have no hesitation in throwing him straight in although this is something I will now have to decide on."

It will be a test for Coleman's side as they look to leapfrog Exeter and move into the play-off places. Historically the game has a lot of significance as Stanley were meant to play Exeter at Peel Park on 10 March 1962 - but they had resigned from the Football League days earlier and the game was never played.

"I know about the historical importance," said Coleman. "I hope it brings a few of the older fans back."


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