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Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Focus: Accrington Stanley fan Callum describes their manager John Coleman as “unsackable”!

Ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Accrington Stanley today, Matty spoke to Accies fan Callum Gibson of the Raw Milk Podcast to get the lowdown on John Coleman’s side!

Matthew Crichton: Accrington have become an established League One side under John Coleman - what are your aspirations for the new season?

Callum Gibson: The aim is always survival for me. Accrington in the third tier is miraculous and a testament to the genius of Sir John.

Coley himself will as always be targeting promotion. Aiming high is the key to his success.

MC: Coleman’s wonders with Accrington are nothing short of phenomenal across his two tenures with the club, would you say that his bond is so strong with supporters that even if you were relegated he wouldn’t face calls to be sacked?

CG: Coley is unsackable.

No person is bigger than the club but the Messiah is close.

If were had three back-to-back relegations he would still leave us a division in credit.

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One
John Coleman has won four different league titles across two spells as manager of Accrington.
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

MC: Colby Bishop departed the club earlier this week to join Portsmouth, did you feel that was inevitable this summer?

CG: Yes, he was always destined for a move and to be fair we’ve turned down big money for him in the past.

Credit to Colby though as unlike others he has never thrown his toys out of the pram and has carried on turning out top notch performances for the Reds.

It’s a case of thank you and good luck to him.

He will always be welcome on the hallowed Crown Ground.

MC: Another high profile departure was of 23-year-old Ross Sykes, who joined Belgian side Union SG - were you surprised by that move?

CG: It is random but it gives us all an excuse for jolly over there to keep an eye on him.

Accrington Stanley v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One
Colby Bishop scored 38 goals in 123 games during his time with Accrington.
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

MC: In terms of incomings, are you happy with Stanley’s business so far this summer?

CG: Evolution not revolution for Accy this year.

Tommy Leigh and Liam Coyle renewing are as good as new signings.

Matt Lowe has signed from Brackley and looks to be another unearthed Non-League gem in trademark John Coleman style.

MC: Sunderland’s new signing Aji Alese spent time on loan with Accrington earlier in his career... was he a success at Stanley?

CG: I think the fact that his name would make most Stanleyites go “Who?” answers that question.

Accrington Stanley v Bolton Wanderers - Trophy
Aji Alese made 15 appearances for Accrington during a loan spell back in 2019.
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

MC: Judging from your other pre-season friendlies, which eleven players do you think Coleman will select?

CG: Jensen (GK), Sangare, Rich-Baghuelou, Astley, Clark, Coyle, Hamilton, Lowe, Pritchard, McConville, Lowe.

Lowe in for Bishop. Too late for trialists now I should imagine with the season starting next week.

MC: Sunderland are unbeaten against Accrington in eight competitive meetings, what is your prediction for the final score?

CG: Pre-season does nothing for me so I will go for a lethargic 1-1.


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