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Interview: Accrington fan Josh is wary of the threat Sunderland possess - but predicts 2-2 draw!

Ahead of the match tomorrow we spoke to Accrington fan Josh Cook from the RawMilk Fanzine to discuss the latest goings on at his club, and what we can expect from John Coleman’s side during the game.

Bristol Rovers v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One - Memorial Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: I’d like to start by giving praise to Billy Kee, who sadly will not be available to face Sunderland on Saturday. Do you feel he is opening the door for more professionals to not fear publicly discussing their personal difficulties with mental health?

JC: Hopefully, and loads has been done in the game over the past couple of years but it’s got a long way to go. I feel like the club is doing the right thing in backing him as he goes through it all.

I’d like to think that Accrington would be known as a club that supports all of its staff, no matter what troubles they’re having, as should all clubs. As a sport, football should lead the way on support for players and ex players. It needs to do more.

MC: Sunderland and Accrington have already met this season in the Carabao Cup with the Black Cats deservedly winning 3-1 - what do you think Stanley will do different tactically this time around?

JC: It is tough to say because you killed us in the cup with quality off the bench. We won’t change much, we’ve had some positive results in the last 2 weeks so we’ll line up similar and look to hit you early on and get a lead.

MC: The season has not started as well as many Accrington would have hoped. You currently sit 19th in League One having won just one game - do you think John Coleman’s job is at risk?

JC: Absolutely not. The town would riot!

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One
Billy Kee celebrates with his teammates having scored against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

MC: Accrington have received a red card in 3 of their last 4 fixtures. Is your ill-discipline a key area in which Sunderland can exploit during the match?

JC: It shouldn’t be. But, the record seems to speak for itself. I don’t worry about that too much, a lot of the cards seem to have come with frustration during matches. Sort the football out on the pitch and we should fix that issue.

We learnt the hard way last year what life is like in this division and how hard it is (as did you). If we want to stay in League One we have to manage games better.

MC: Striker Colby Bishop, signed from non-league side Leamington in the summer, has made quite an impact by scoring four goals in eight games. In Billy Kee’s absence is he the new danger man Sunderland should be wary of?

JC: He’s leading the line now, backed up by Charles who joined From Southport at a similar time. Colby looks a real handful at times and throws his weight around nicely to unsettle defences.

He lacks that bit of quality sometimes but it’s to be expected from someone who was teaching PE as a profession six months ago. Without Kee there isn’t too much more choice. He’s been thrust into it and has coped up to now.

MC: Stanley have conceded 12 league goals already this season, the joint-fourth worst record in League One. Do you think this might prompt Coleman to play a more a defensive style, or perhaps even five at the back against Sunderland?

JC: We played around last year with the formations and it didn’t really work. Coleman usually sticks to what he knows and we don’t have the personnel to be trying a back 5 in my opinion because we lose the ball too much in midfield as it is.

We know you’re a threat from playing you 700 times in the last 12 months but I’d be surprised if there’s a drastic change.

Accrington Stanley FC Feature
John Coleman has won promotion on four different occasions with Accrington across his two spells with the club.
Photo by Gary M.Prior/Getty Images

MC: It’s a well-known fact that because Sunderland possess the most substantial budget in League One, the fans expect automatic promotion. Would you say that with Accrington having one of the lowest budgets within the league, survival is regarded as a monumental success?

JC: I’d take survival now. Every year we stay at this level is another step closer to us cementing ourselves as a third tier team. Keep growing off the field as a club and it’ll boost the town as a whole - staying in League One is part of that.

MC: Following Bury’s recent expulsion from the English Football League, Accrington chairman Andy Holt was highly critical of the EFL. Do you feel more financial regulations should be put in place to prevent clubs from facing liquidation?

JC: Of course. It seems to be every week we’re seeing another club get drawn into trouble, and all the EFL do is say how much they’ve tried to do the right thing.

I think we’re going to have to see an independent adjudicator come into view the running of clubs every couple of seasons. Sort of like Ofsted do for schools.

Can you imagine losing watching Sunderland every week? As fans we cannot allow beacons of our community to be simply thrown away. It’s unacceptable.

MC: You predicted a 2-1 win for Stanley last wtime we spoke - what do you believe the final score will be at the Crown Ground on Saturday this time around?

JC: I will go with 2-2 this time around.

All the best to Sunderland as always. I am hoping for a good game.

Poll

Josh is expecting a score draw, what do you think the score will be on Saturday?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Sunderland win
    (140 votes)
  • 6%
    Draw
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Accrington win
    (6 votes)
156 votes total Vote Now