John Coleman insists that signing a new four-and-a-half year deal at Stanley was not a knee-jerk reaction to Lincoln City’s interest in him and he always knew the contract would be signed.

The Reds boss was offered an improved deal until 2015 on Tuesday by Stanley chief executve Rob Heys and it was in the hands of his solicitors yesterday with Coleman not expecting any problems.

Coleman and assistant Jimmy Bell’s new contract has been a long running saga at the club with a new three-and-a-half year deal on the table for around six months but it has never been signed.

Lincoln, who parted company with manager Chris Sutton last week, put Coleman at the top of the wish list and were believed to be keen to speak to the 47-year-old.

However Stanley this week offered an improved contract to Coleman and Bell and the Reds boss says it will be signed, once his solictor has given it the once over.

"To be honest, it was never in doubt for me. People will think it is a knee jerk reaction but it’s not from me," said the Reds chief, who has been at the Crown Ground since 1999 and is the third longest serving league manager behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

"We have been speaking about the contract for a long time but there have been other more pressing matters so it had been put on the backburner but it didn’t really matter to me.

"However if you want to make it happen, you can and it’s happening now.

"I have never been bothered about whether I have been linked to other clubs or not. Everyone knows I am ambitious but I really believe we can take Accrington Stanley to the next level - which is League One.

"After that we would need the fan base to grow and I don’t know if that can happen - that’s the problem. But I know the job I have got to do here and everyone knows me and Jimmy love it here. The new contract will make it 16 years at the club and we have already got the Freedom of the Borough - although they wouldn’t let me take a pig through the town hall last week!"

But, joking aside, he admitted: "It has been an almost depressing last few years really - I am not sure if that’s the right word - but for six years we won a lot of things and you really get used to winning things.

"Then the last few years it has been about survival and that’s alien to me as I just want to win.

"Everyone knows how ambitious I am and I do think we have the team here to win things now.

"A four-and-a-half year deal means the club are rewarding the things that Jimmy and I have done and I am happy with that. But as I have said, it never bothered me and signing a new contract here will not make the slightest bit of difference to me. I will still be doing the same job. I think it is probably more important to the fans."

There is a power struggle behind the scenes at Stanley between non-executive chairman Ilyas Khan, who saved the club when they were almost wound up a year ago, managing director Dave O’Neill, who says he has bought 51 per cent of Eric Whalley’s shares in the club, and former chairman Whalley who is still listed as the owner at Customs House.

But Coleman said that every one of those people have played their part in his new deal and no one should be singled out for the delay.

"Ilyas has done so much already and obviously has the finances to help take us further.

"Dave and Rob (Heys) have both done a lot to reduced the outgoing finances from the club dramatically and they deserve praise for that. And Eric helped kick start the club we have now by getting into the Football League.

"People are tending to take one side or another and I don’t think they should. I think all have played their part and hopefully will continue to do so. All of them have the club’s best interests at heart; all have wanted to do the best and sometimes it might have been a little misguided but all have had an input in making the club what it is today.

"I think we are going in the right direction now and I believe, if we tighten up at the back, we can make a big push for the play-offs this season. I believe I have the squad to do it."

Chief executive Heys said: "I was never really worried that John would leave to go to Lincoln as, with no disrespect to Lincoln, it is really a sideways move as they are in League Two like us.

"But, with John and Jimmy’s record and the start we have had to this season, it was only a matter of time before they attracted interest from a club from a higher league so it became vital to sign them up. To have them here until 2015 is fantastic for Accrington Stanley."

* STANLEY are due to appear before the Football Assocation on October 20 over the charge of fielding an ineligible player in Ray Putterill in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.  They are also due to appear before the Football League for the same offence, who could throw them out of the competition. Stanley’s second round match with Stockport was postponed this week with the quarter-final draw tomorrow.