John Coleman has advised people not to write off his Accrington side in the run-up to Saturday’s League One encounter with promotion-chasing Barnsley.
Stanley head to South Yorkshire on the back of two straight defeats and will take on a Barnsley side who are yet to lose at Oakwell in the league this season, but that did not deter the bullish Accrington boss. ‘We’re going there to try and win the game,” said Coleman. “A lot of people will have written us off, saying Barnsley are second in the league and flying. Write us off at your peril.’
Speaking on the club’s official website he added ‘They’re a good club, a good team. If I had to pick the team I thinks the strongest in League One it would be Barnsley, but I think on any given day we are as strong as anybody, and we’re determined to silence a few people, to be honest.’
Coleman and his team came in for criticism from some quarters after the midweek home defeat by Blackpool, a game in which he left top scorer Billy Kee on the bench.
However, Coleman was adamant his side played well despite losing the match. He said ‘We’ve got a really good squad and if we play as we did on Tuesday we’ll win more games than we won’t.’
Accrington continue to punch above their weight and are fifteenth in League One, four points above the dropzone.
Three points on Saturday would go a long way to easing their relegation fears in what is a very tight league, but they will undoubtedly have their work cut out against second-placed Barnsley who are undefeated in the league since they lost at Wycombe on 8th December, a run of fifteen games.
Engendering a siege mentality is often a successful tactic when you are the underdogs and Coleman is a past master on getting the best out of his Stanley side against all the odds.
He will need another performance from his team like they recently conjured up in front of the television cameras at Sunderland when their slick passing and pace up front earnt them an impressive draw in a game they perhaps should have won.
Even though Barnsley’s squad is currently being tested by injury and suspension a win on Saturday might still be beyond Stanley, but I feel they will stay up, which would be a massive achievement for Coleman and his players.