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Countdown to promotion

ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman is refusing to get too carried away despite the Reds standing three wins away from promotion to the Nationwide Conference.

'We have got a massive weekend'

ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman is refusing to get too carried away despite the Reds standing three wins away from promotion to the Nationwide Conference.

Promotion from the UniBond Premier Division could even be assured this weekend if the local side return with maximum points from trips to Droylsden tomorrow and Whitby Town on Sunday and second-placed Barrow fail to win..

Coleman though prefers to follow the old adage of taking one match at a time and still does not see promotion as a certainty.

Conference football would be the highest level Stanley have played at since they left the Football League in 1962 but the manager is urging fans not to get too excited just yet.

He said: "We are not trying to look too far ahead but we have got a massive weekend as six points are up for grabs and we have just got to concentrate on trying to win the games.

"We need three wins now but they will come when they come."

Tuesday night's impressive 3-0 victory at Blyth further strengthened Stanley's chances of the UniBond title and it was a performance which left the manager purring.

It also displayed Stanley's ability to overcome the pressure of being runaway league leaders.

Coleman said: "It was a really good performance. As I said to the players, it's very rare that you get a game where every player plays really well.

"The pitch was very bumpy and it was windy but we overcame that and played some good football.

"What really pleased me was the attitude of the players which showed they were very keen to get about them. Give the lads their due, whenever there has been a test we have come through with flying colours.

"People criticised us when we lost 5-1 to Gateshead and they responded magnificently, the way they stick by each other shows they have been a credit to the club."

The decision to play back-to-back games over the weekend may surprise some but Stanley believe it offers the players a good chance of playing well.

For example Tuesday night's trip to Blyth was delayed by a crash on the M1 motorway and problems on the A1 which is a five-hour slog to the North East.

This weekend, the team travel to Tameside to face Droylsden and then travel to Whitby afterwards, staying overnight so the players are refreshed ahead of Sunday's match.

Although Mike Marsh missed Tuesday's win, he is expected to be fit for the weekend double header.

Coleman anticipates a tough match at Droylsden as their boss Dave Pace is keen to make amends for their 2-1 defeat at Stanley earlier in the season.

He said: "We have got a squad of 19 players and I would imagine quite a few of them will be involved at the weekend.

"All of them are good enough so I am not too concerned but I will decide what I need to do on Saturday and what I need to do on Sunday.

"Droylsden have been very impressive all season and their league position does not equate to how well they can play.

"I think they have a problem scoring goals which has not helped them but they do try and play football.

"By all accounts the pitch is not the best and I know Pacey will have them fired up for the match."


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