JOHN COLEMAN is hoping he can talk the talk this season - as he won’t be able to lure players to the club with big financial promises.
The Reds boss has had his budget cut by a quarter, making his quest to sign players for the League Two battlers even harder.
He has got the basis of his squad signed up but still needs two strikers, two defenders and a goalkeeper. And he is hoping his persuasive powers can get the signatures.
"Jimmy (Bell) and I have to try and sell ourselves and the club this season," said the Reds boss. "We work a lot on recommendations. Most players who come to this club talk about the team spirit and the good atmosphere and I would say I could go out and have a drink with 95 per cent of the players who have been here in my 10 years at Accrington.
"Jimmy and I have done jobs we didn’t want to in the past where we were up at 6am and we transmit to the players how lucky they are to be playing football, and we want it to be fun – as well as working hard.
"There has always been a good team spirit here, we try and install a will to win, a good work effort and Jimmy and I have bags of enthusiasm and are passionate about football and Accrington and we want any players to reflect this."
His persuasive powers have already worked to get new boys Luke Joyce, Dean Winnard and Michael Symes signed up to one-year deals while two-year deals for Andy Procter, Phil Edwards, Jimmy Ryan and Chris Turner could be significant investments for the club.
"Michael Symes has taken a substantial pay cut to come here and we hope to see the best of him this season.
"Chris Turner has taken his chance with both hands and Phil and Jimmy have the world at their feet.
"We are hoping to sign Craig Lindfield from Liverpool again on loan and I think when it clicks for him, the goals will go in. He has a lot of promise. He missed a lot of chances last season and it will just take one to go in. If we secure his services and it clicks for him we should see a lot of balls in the back of the net."
Coleman knows it will be a tough season for the club but welcomes what new major shareholder Dave O’Neill is trying to do in making the club self-sufficent after all the financial problems.
"We all want the club to be successful but it is wrong just to expect people to keep putting their own money in - whether it’s Dave O’Neill or Eric Whalley. The club needs to be capable of financing itself - we need to be able to help and save ourselves.
"There is a lot of hard work to be done this season as we need to increase the gate and the sponsorship money so we can pay for the players and ground improvement to take it to the next level. We are all working together.
"But I also think we should be proud of our club. We could have gone into adminstration had the £300,000 tax debt wiped out and taken the ten point deduction and last season we would have stayed up.
"But our club is special and we have tried to do it the right way and we are putting the contingency plans in place to make sure it doesnt happen again. We have got to learn from the past.
""No one is perfect and mistakes have been made over the past 10 years. I have made hundreds of mistakes but we have all been trying to do the best for the club.
"Eric (Whalley) has given his life to this club and he has funded it for years and years. Perhaps it hasn’t been run the way people liked it and some things have not worked, but you can’t fault his effort for trying.
"He has been brave enough to give up now and he could have sold out years ago. But he recognises other people want to have a go and a new challenge and we are now trying to go forward- but we can’t do it on our own."
Coleman admitted he was at a loss as to why Stanley’s gate averaged just 1400 last season - 600 down on their first season back in the Football League - which has added to the financial problems.
"I don’t know where the crowds have gone. You can’t legislate for one Monday night playing Morecambe live on Sky in the Conference and having 3,300 people on and playing them on a Tuesday night last season in the league and there was just 1,200 people on.
"We have lost 2000 people. It’s a mystery for me where the crowds have gone but I accept last season wasn’t the best at home but not in the previous two seasons.
"For some reason we didn’t have the edge and didn’t play like mine and Jimmy’s teams should - gung-ho, with a will to win and to work your socks off and we have got to get back to it this season."
And Coleman hopes there are now more good times around the corner after four promotions in his decade at Stanley.
"Hopefully, this will be the start of a new chapter and the town will get behind us otherwise it is like trying to swim with diving boots on.
"Gates of 1100 are not enough to sustain a Football League club."
Coleman admits it is a big season for the club off the field - but his ambitions remain as high as ever on it, especially after three seasons battling relegation.
"We don’t want to be just happy we stayed up - we want to go further. We weren’t really rolled over by any teams last season and a lot were close games. If we could have taken penalties - you can’t legislate for scoring one penalty out of five - then we could have had eight or nine points more.
"We are not a million miles away and I am quite happy with the current squad.
"We have already told the players our expectations and they have got to raise their own. We want to keep improving season by season."