ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman is closing in on his long term target - a Coca Cola League One defender.
The Reds boss has been chasing the centre half for months but thought he had missed out on the experienced player.
However Coleman has revealed that the signing should be made in time for tomorrow's home clash with Gravesend and Northfleet.
If the defender puts pen to paper, it comes at a good time following Robbie Williams' sending off in the 3-3 midweek draw with Northwich as Williams now misses tomorrow's clash although Jonathan Smith is waiting in the wings.
"We have agreed a deal - it is just a case of him signing this morning. We don't want to reveal his name until it is all sorted," confirmed the boss.
"He is an experienced player who I have been chasing for a while. And Jonathan will also be involved."
Meanwhile, Coleman is still waiting to hear from Cambridge left back Stuart Bimson, who was on loan at Stanley, and has been offered a deal at the Interlink.
The boss is not prepared to wait forever and will turn his attentions elsewhere as he has offered a trial to a young left back who has been released from Liverpool.
And, while he is sorting out his squad, Coleman is keen to sign striker Jody Banim permanently from Shrewsbury.
The Shrews are sorting out a deal to release him from his contract and Coleman hopes to snap him up and then loan him to his old club Radcliffe Borough to get the hitman match-fit. "There are a few things which need to be ironed out," said Coleman.
Meanwhile, the Reds chief is determined his side will put on a better show at home to fellow promotion-chasers Gravesend.
Coleman was disappointed despite their 2-1 win over Leigh RMI on Saturday and then furious as Stanley lost a 3-1 lead to struggling Northwich.
And he was gutted that one of the Reds players was sent off for the first time this season for a second bookable offence which resulted in a penalty and the equaliser.
"I have watched the video and Robbie got the ball but, if it was deemed a dangerous tackle, it was an indirect free kick not a penalty," said Coleman. "But, at the end of the day, Robbie didn't need to make that tackle. It was rash and hopefully he has learned from it.
"The lads are sick over what has happened. They are still smarting over it so they will be keen to put it right."
It was more disappointing as, with the other results, second placed Stanley could have gone joint top with Barnet.
"It is one of those things. The lads know they owe two points now so that is what they will be aiming to get back."
Striker Lutel James is set to return after scoring in the reserves 3-1 win over Lancaster on Wednesday and missing Tuesday's game to be at the birth of his daughter.
Meanwhile, Fleet boss Andy Ford was pleased after his side bounced back from two defeats with a win over Dagenham. He is eyeing at least a draw tomorrow.
"It will be a tough game but we went to Accrington and got a good point last year," said Ford.
Then, on Wednesday, Stanley travel to Valley Parade to take on Coca Cola League One side Bradford City in their first ever involvement in the LDV Vans Trophy. "It's a decent game for us," said Coleman. "We get the chance to test ourselves against higher opposition again and it is a good day out for the fans."
Stanley will get £2,000 even if they lose their first round clash against Colin Todd's Bantams.
- STANLEY'S reserves are in action tonight at Bradford PA.
- THE Reds have signed 18- year-old striker Shaun Tuck on a one-year contract. He has scored six goals in six starts for the second string this season.