Beattie: Bring on the flak

Accrington boss James Beattie
Accrington boss James Beattie
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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James Beattie insisted he’ll be pleased to take stick from Pompey fans tomorrow.

And the Accrington Stanley boss vowed the ‘whole of Southampton’ is willing his team to turn over Guy Whittingham’s side in the Sky-televised clash.

Beattie is expecting to run a gauntlet of hate from travelling fans at the Crown Ground because of his connections with the Blues’ deadly rivals.

But he told Pompey, remembering those connections is ‘their problem’.

Beattie is now cutting his managerial teeth at Stanley and feels flak in his direction from the away contingent will only deflect from them aiming at his players.

He said: ‘If they sing and chant at me all game I will be happy with that because they won’t be having a go at the players and hopefully that will let them get on with the job of trying to get three points.

‘Whatever abuse they throw at me, it happened a long time ago.

‘If they want to dwell on it that’s their problem, not mine.

‘They will only give me stick and they will only remember me because of what I did in a Southampton shirt, which is history. It’s gone.

‘They are good memories for Southampton fans but some unfortunate ones for Portsmouth fans.

‘There’s a lot of support for me coming from the west of Portsmouth.

‘I’ve had a few messages and I know the whole of Southampton will be behind me.

‘But that’s just good fun off the pitch.

‘When we are down to business it’s us against them and I’m going to back my lads all day long.’

Stanley go into tomorrow’s game buoyed by shocking Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup this week.

That buried the downer of being on the end of a 4-1 loss at Newport County on Saturday.

But Beattie has no doubt the game with Pompey is bigger than the cup clash.

He said: ‘To the club it is and to myself it is an even bigger game than Middlesbrough, of course.

‘But the more I can keep that away from the players and make them understand it’s just another game, a league game to get our first points of the season on the board, the better I think.

‘The lads reacted in a magnificent way to Saturday.

‘It’s all about how we prepare now.

‘I said to the lads after the game on Saturday “be disappointed, but you’ve got to pick yourselves up for Tuesday”.

‘That’s easier said than done but this is totally the opposite – this is flipping it on its head and getting them down from that cloud they are on.

‘They’ve had their bit of enjoyment but we’ve got more business to attend to and the ultimate celebration is towards the end of the season when we are putting a run together.

‘They will have enjoyed themselves on Tuesday night and Wednesday with their families but now it’s down to business.’