'Chances will be at a premium': Accrington boss discusses the Wham Stadium pitch and Sunderland's threat ahead of League One clash

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman expects a positive response from Sunderland in tonight's League One fixture - but still believes his side can cause an upset at the Wham Stadium

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 1:14 pm
Accrington boss John Coleman believes his side can cause an upset tonight.

The Black Cats will be looking to bounce back from Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy defeat by Portsmouth - which Jack Ross' side lost 5-4 on penalties.

Yet Coleman isn't expecting Sunderland to suffer from a Wembley hangover, with Jack Ross' side fighting to win automatic promotion from League One

“I do not think what happened on Sunday will have any bearing on Wednesday night,” said Coleman. “They will have three days to recover and get rest into their legs.

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“Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from Sunday and they are a good team.

"They will pose us problems but they will know we will pose them problems from the two games we have played them in already.

“We have some good players and I can’t see any reason why we can’t win. I love being involved in games, I am up for the challenge.”

Despite Accrington's inferior league position, their meetings with the Black Cats have been evenly matched this season.

Stanley led 2-0 at the Stadium of Light earlier in the campaign before Sunderland came back to claim a 2-2 draw, courtesy of goals from George Honeyman and Aiden McGeady.

Albeit in challenging conditions, Colemen's men also held their own during the league fixture at the Wham Stadium back in December, when the game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch with the scores locked at 1-1.

Accrington were 11 points clear of safety back then, but are now just two points above the drop zone following a run of five defeats in their last six league games.

Even so, Stanley's last three home games, including a 1-0 defeat by Fleetwood on Saturday, have all been decided by a one-goal margin, and Coleman is expecting another tight game against the Black Cats.

“Looking back at Fleetwood, there was nothing in the game and I was disappointed we didn’t work their keeper more," added Coleman. "A draw would have been a fair result and if anything I think we shaded it.

“The way pitches are this season, chances will be at a premium and will be decided on a mistake or a set-piece.

“In this case, it was both and games will be settled by fine margins, we just have to hope they fall our way."