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Howarth gives boss a headache

JOHN Coleman told Paul Haworth to seize his chance when he got it - and the right back made sure he did that on Saturday.

JOHN Coleman told Paul Haworth to seize his chance when he got it - and the right back made sure he did that on Saturday.

Since the 22-year-old came to Stanley four years ago he has been on the fringes of the team but played one of his best games for the club in the 2-0 win over Barnet.

He was thrust in with the suspension of Peter Cavanagh andmade sure he helped keep Conference top scorer Guiliano Grazioli quiet.

"It was great. It has been hard for me not playing and especially with Cav being the captain.

"But Coley has stuck by me and put a lot of faith in me and told me to grab my chance when it came - and I hope I have given him a headache for tomorrow.

"When you aren't playing, it is hard and you have to make sure you keep fit and stay focussed. The competition is strong here and that is credit to Coley. You only have to look at our bench - with Dean, Hacker, Gordon - and see the competition. Anyone knows that they cannot afford to have an average game.

"Accrington is good place to be at the moment and it is going in the right direction. There are high hopes here - the club has the right manager and a good nucleus of players. It is going forward."

The Barnet clash was Howarth's second start of the season after playing against Gravesend in the goalless draw there. And he enjoyed performing in front of the home support.

"It was brilliant to get a start at home and to win as well and keep a clean sheet. We had been letting stupidgoals in recently so we knew we had to tighten up in defence.

"We didn't concede a goal at Gravesend either and I think I am getting better every game I play. It is difficult when you don't have a run of games but sometimes the formation dictates who plays - if it is three or four across the back. But I knew I just had to seize my chance when it came and hopefully make it a tough choice for Coley."

It was something of a makeshift defence against Barnet with Gordon Armstrong slotting in at left back and Steve Halford and Jonathan Smith in the centre. And they were up against freescoring Grazioli.

"There is so little to choose between Hacker, Smithy and Rocky - it must be a headache for Coley which two to choose," continued Howarth. "But Hacker and Smith were strong on Saturday and then Gordon is an experienced player. And I never worry about who I am playing against - Grazioli might have scored 19 goals this season but I just worry about doing my job.

"Coley has driven into us that we should just worry about ourselves, play well and then we should win. We know we have nothing to fear. We didn't last year and we haven't this year. That is the attitude that is in the whole team."

And he says the team spirit is second to none.

"I left Shrewsbury and it had been awful there. It never helps when you are near the bottom but it wasn't like it is at Accrington. Here everyone plays for each other and I have made some good friends - they are all really sound lads. Coley has built that team spirit up, Cookey (Paul Cook) is a character as is Gordon - and Goucky!

"And then there are the younger lads. Like any football club, it isn't always perfect, but it is a great place to be."

And Howarth will be disappointed if he isn't included in the squad for tomorrow's FA Cup tie.

"I would like to be involved obviously. I know what Coley will be saying though. There will be no "Go out and enjoy it" - it will be "Go and win!"


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