Opposition view: Accrington Stanley (A)


Before we look at the game, could you give us a memory from previous games against the Gas?

A great memory I have of visiting your place was a 2:1 win back in 2018. Sean McConville scored a brace, the winner coming in the 89th minute.

That was a historic day for us, our first goals and win in the third tier of English football and it was an honour to see it.

And I definitely do not remember you beating Dagenham in 2016, that definitely doesn’t haunt my dreams.

How has your season been going so far?

We’re having a great season, I don’t know whether it’s the lack of fans that’s helping us or if our recruitment has really hit a sweet spot this year but it seems to all be clicking together nicely.

We’re playing expansive football in an attacking shape that we’re not used to at Accrington and so far it’s been class.

And what would you say your ambitions are for the rest of the campaign?

Our ambitions have certainly changed. I tipped us to be in the lower mid table region and potentially in mix for relegation so that shows how much I know.

I suppose if you’re 9th in February your ambition has to be to at least have a good go at the play off places.

That sounds ridiculous and we’ve amazingly only played 21 matches, but, dream big.

How is your form coming into the game?

We lost at home to Gillingham and Away at Hull in successive games, but followed that up nicely by beating Hull at home one week ago.

We drew at Plymouth on Saturday which I think we’d always take with a 600+ mile round trip.

It’s a mixed bag but confidence seems high in the camp at the minute.

How do you think you’ll setup for our game?

This year we have switched our formation to playing with 3 central defenders and 2 wing backs/wingers.

This leaves a 3 in midfield, 1 sitting in as a defensive midfelder and 2 looking to link with the 2 strikers.

We play out from the back more often than not and rely on the wingers to make things happen in the final third.

Any weak links in your side?

Following Stanley over the years, we’ve never had a very physical team compared to our counterparts.

This seems to have ended now and we have a nice mix of flare with good old fashioned hard men that stand at around 8 foot tall.

The only weakness may be in who he chooses to pick, we’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions recently which means players have been filling in here and there.

Who are your standout players?

Stand outs at this moment in time are the keeper: Nathan Baxter, Micheal Nottingham is solid at the back and loves a run forward.

Joe Pritchard and Matt Butcher link well on the right of midfield and Colby Bishop up front is a bit of a fridge freezer for any defender to try and win the ball from.

Game prediction

I think at home we have to target the match for 3 points, every time I say that, we lose: 3:1 Stanley.

Where do you think you’ll be come the end of the season?

I think with the amount of games we have left and the general inexperience in the team we’ll flirt with the play-offs but may just fall away with fatigue closer to the end.

I hope I’m wrong, but that’s my honest opinion. All the best for the rest of the season. Cheers