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Mark Bonner Previews Accrington Clash

17 February 2022

Hear the thoughts of the boss ahead of Saturday’s (February 19th) clash with Accrington Stanley at the Abbey Stadium…

On a week without a midweek game:

“It was nice for everyone to have a Sunday without thinking about Tuesday. The boys that played on Saturday had Sunday and Monday off, and then everybody else was back in for a good session Monday.”

Looking ahead to Saturday and facing Accrington:

“At the minute, the forecast seems to be a bit better on Saturday, but normally come 3:00pm on Saturday the Abbey is really Breezy anyway, so we will be well prepared for it.

“Accrington are really competitive and have picked up a couple of good results recently. I think they’ll arrive at the Abbey on Saturday in form. Last week against Crewe was an excellent victory and they've got power and strength in the team.

“They’ve got good height in their side and we saw all of that early on in the season. We played them early on and struggled physically with them on that day. We had to change the team around a little bit for that and we grew into the game and probably deserved something out of it in the end.

“We know the physicality they bring to the game and the attacking threats in their team. They’re one of the best in the league from set-plays; I think they scored all four of their goals against Crewe last weekend from them – so we have to be wary of that.

“We’ve got to deal with their threats in the game as players and then, as always, we have to make sure we are productive with the ball that we have.

“John Coleman has done an unbelievable job there, they are now a well-established League One side – well deserving of their position and are very often in the top half, despite losing some of their best players.

“They're a great model for smaller clubs with small resources to look at and to try and emulate because they are well established team.

“I’m full of respect for the job they've done and continue to do and we know how difficult the game will be, but it's a game that we’ve got to go and try and get the upper hand in.”

Team news:

“Greg [Taylor] is training a lot. Lloyd [Jones] was ill earlier in the week, so we see him for first time today. That just sets him back a little bit, but he's training well so hopefully not too far from making squad.

“We've got an additional game next week for a lot of the younger players against Charlton. The injured players will play some part in that. It will help build up some minutes and getting them back in match sharpness – because it's a big leap from training in small sided games to play 11v11 games.

“Liam O'Neil obviously played last Tuesday so hopefully he's fit to play a part at the weekend and Jensen [Weir] has gone back with Brighton for a little bit to get a little bit more hands on care with the number of staff and facilities they've got there.

“Hopefully he’s not too far away from returning back here and can then return to training.”

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