Accrington Stanley have succeeded in bringing their two loan targets back to the Crown Ground
John Coleman has signed former Stanley player Ian Craney – the club’s record transfer signing at £85,000 from Swansea City in 2008 – and Joe Jacobson.
Midfielder Craney, who has had two spells at the Crown Ground before moving onto first Swansea and then Huddersfield, has been at Blue Square Premier side Fleetwood.
"Ian has played his best when he has been with us so hopefully, if we can get him on loan, he will come back and do the same again," said Coleman ahead of the deadline, with Craney currently fighting off a slight injury.
"I don’t think the way Fleetwood have been playing has suited his style but I think the way we play will. He knows me and Jimmy Bell and a lot of the players and he knows the set-up here.
"He won’t have to settle in and he has a lot of ability. We have a number of midfielders at the club but it’s healthy competition."
Left-back Jacobson was on loan with the Reds for a couple of months in the 2006-7 season, when he was at Cardiff. Since then he has been at Bristol Rovers and Oldham.
Unlike Craney, he won’t be cup-tied for tonight’s second round FA¿Cup clash at Port Vale.
"Joe did well when he was here last time and he is another that knows the set-up," continued Coleman, with Jacobson training at the club yesterday. "He now has more experience under his belt and I have been after him for a while and he is now available."
Meanwhile, the Reds boss was preparing his squad for the trip to League Two table toppers Port Vale who are currently an in-form team, unbeaten in 10 games.
"We know all about them and anyone who is at home will be the favourites but we have been playing quite well and hopefully we will get a result which our performance deserves," he said.
"There’s £27,000 up for grabs which we probably need more than any other club in the league but both teams will be under pressure.
"It would be nice to be in the draw for third round on Sunday and obviously hope to get a glamour tie, like last season when we got a home draw in the fourth round with a Premier League side in Fulham.
"We have always done well in the past against the big clubs and hopefully we can continue if we get there. But I think it will be an entertaining game at Port Vale."
The Reds are assessing the fitness of six-goal scorer Sean McConville who is suffering back problems after crashing into hoardings on Saturday in the 1-0 League Two win over Stevenage and aggravating it in the 1-1 draw at Bradford on Tuesday.
Jimmy Ryan was also struggling with a hamstring injury at the Coral Windows Stadium and he will also be touch and go.
Winger Chris Turner returns from a three-match suspension while Peter Murphy sits out the last game of his ban.
And Coleman has called on midfielder Ray Putterill to up his game as he discusses a new contract at the Crown Ground, with Putterill’s running out in December.
"Ray is probably one of our most inventive players but he wasn’t at his best against Stevenage and Bradford," said Coleman.
"I am quick to praise my players but I have a good enough relationship with them to say in public what I will also say to their face.
"Ray is a fantastic talent and he has a good career ahead of him but if he plays like he has over the last two games, then he won’t be playing for me.
"He is a clever player and is probably the most driven player at the club. He has ability and desire but he has got to add more to his game. It’s just disappointing when one of our best players gets the ball a lot but doesn’t do well with it."
STANLEY’S Football in the Community team is running a Christmas Soccer School/Activity Week from December 20-23. The week is for both boys and girls and each day will be split into a morning and an afternoon session. Each session will be £6 or the full day is £10. The full course is £40 which is for all eight sessions (Monday – Thursday 9am-3pm). Contact the Community Trust on 01254 356950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.