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Fixture News

The Accrington Lowdown

We learn a bit more about Stanley

9 May 2021

Photo: Accrington Stanley FC

Johnny Moore asks Dan Jewell from BBC Radio Lancashire to run the rule over Accrington

Q: Accrington were riding high at the turn of the year, so are they disappointed not to be challenging for a play-off place?

A: The management team and staff will certainly be disappointed that they went out of contention in recent weeks – although mathematically it was still possible until a week or so ago – because they set really high standards.

The outsider’s perspective may be that a small club with very limited resources should be delighted to be mid-table in League One, but within the club they have aspirations of more.

A costly defeat to Ipswich in March and a ludicrous injury list at a similar time really put paid to being realistic promotion contenders.

Q: Stanley continue to confound the critics, but do they have the potential to reach the Championship?

A: I don’t see why not. The days of losing a dozen players every summer and having to rebuild from the base up seem to be long gone under the ownership of Andy Holt.

With a number of key players tied to longer-term contracts than has been the case in the past, it’s likely to be more about adding to what they have than replacing.

The last couple of seasons have shown that when they’re good they are very good, but on a bad day things can go badly wrong.

More depth of established first team players could be the key to achieving that sought after consistency.

Q: Might things have been different had Accrington been able to play in front of their supporters?

A: I think that a lot of clubs have seen behind closed doors matches impact on their home form. Stanley traditionally have a vociferous home support and it’s not an especially inviting place to go for teams.

They’ve only lost six home league games this season, but have drawn seven – including that bonkers match against Pompey recently.

I don’t think you’d see them lose 5-1 at home to Wimbledon or concede with the last kick, as against Charlton, if there were bums on seats and feet on terracing.

Q: Who are the in-form players likely to pose Pompey problems this afternoon?

A: You can’t look past the front two of Colby Bishop and Dion Charles. There are other great players in the side, but those two in tandem and firing have been the difference this season.

Charles has 20 goals for the first time at this level and Bishop has a dozen, despite some injury layoffs. He has, at times, looked like he’s on his way to being one of the best all-round forwards in the division.

If these two link up and hit the right notes at the same time, then it usually means Stanley are at their best.

Q: Will Accrington be ruthless in their quest to prevent Pompey clinching a play-off spot or take their foot off the gas for the final game of the season?

A: John Coleman has been consistent in his message in the last couple of weeks that his team owe it to the league to be competitive, despite their own play-off aspirations coming to an end.

I don’t think anyone watching the Pompey or Charlton games lately would have seen a side taking their foot off the gas!

If anything, I think the shackles might be off more than ever and a side that has plenty of goals in it, but plenty of mistakes too, could just go for it.

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