Meet Town’s opposition: ‘We will be going to Ipswich to win,’ insists Coleman
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Football writer Carl Marston casts his eye over today’s Portman Road visitors, Accrington Stanley, a club constantly over-achieving and enjoying life to the full in League One
Accrington Stanley continue to defy the odds, under long-established manager John Coleman – and the boss himself thinks his side can case an upset at Portman Road today.
Stanley are enjoying life in League One, their first-ever stay in this third tier following promotion in 2018, and Coleman is part of the furnitue at the Crown Ground.
Coleman is thriving in his second stint as Stanley boss, having brought success to the Lancashire club over an initial 13-year period between 1999 and 2012, including three promotions to propel them into the Football League in 2006.
Coleman and his trusty assistant, Jimmy Bell, did leave in 2012 for nearby Rochdale, but both returned in 2014 and have continued to oversee tremendous success at Accrington, including promotion to League One.
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Furthermore, Stanley are going well this term, and go into today’s clash at Portman Road on the back of successive victories, over Rochdale and AFC Wimbledon.
In both cases, they showed their resilience by battling back from a goal down.
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Last weekend, they beat Rochdale 2-1 in the local derby despite conceding the first goal. Joe Pritchard and Chelsea loanee Jon Russell scored during a three-minute spell of the second half.
Likewise, the previous weekend’s 2-1 victory at AFC Wimbledon saw Stanley recover from a deficit to score two quickfire goals through Ross Sykes and Matt Butcher within a breathless three-minute spell.
No wonder, then, that Coleman has no fears about his side taking on league leaders Ipswich Town on Suffolk soil.
“We know it will be a tough game but we go there full of confidence,” insisted Coleman.
“We have worked really hard in training in the last two or three weeks and the atmosphere is good at the club, the place is bouncing.
“Wins work wonders for your confidence, we have a high tempo in training and it’s a good place to be.
“It is early days and I do not think you can judge anyone after five games but everyone does look at the league table and Ipswich have had a good start. I think you can only tell after 10-12 games when things start to settle down.
“We know they have good players but we know we have good players, we can give anyone a game in this league and we will be going there to win.”
THE CHELSEA CONNECTION
Earlier this month, Stanley recruited 21-year-old keeper Nathan Baxter on loan from Chelsea, the third new signing to arrive from Stamford Bridge since the summer.
Tariq Uwakwe, 20, was snapped up on a season-long loan from Chelsea, as was fellow midfielder Jon Russell, who scored his first-ever senior goal with the winner against Rochdale last weekend.
Keeper Baxter, who has had loan spells in the past at the likes of Woking, Yeovil and Ross County (last season), will put pressure on current first-choice Toby Savin.
SPREADING THE GOALS AROUND
Accrington Stanley have scored nine goals to date this season, but unusually they have been shared around with eight different scorers.
Only former Tottenham Academy player Joe Pritchard has netted more than one goal (two).
THE LAST TIME
Accrington Stanley were outgunned on their last visit to Portman Road, a 4-1 trouncing from last January.
Coleman is certainly hoping for a better outcome this weekend, and he can also point to a 2-0 home win over Paul Lambert’s men from last term in an October clash.
“We played poorly at their place and they played well,” confessed Coleman.
“ I am hoping that is fresh in the minds of our players.
First-half goals from Jayden Jackson, James Norwood and Alan Judge put Town in the driving seat, with substitute Will Keane adding a fourth in the last minute.
Stanley finished in 17th spot last season, and are currently in sixth.