Pompey v Accrington: Insider

Piero Mingoia celebrates the winner. Pompey v Accrington Stanley. Fratton Park. League Two. Saturday, December 13, 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler

Piero Mingoia celebrates the winner. Pompey v Accrington Stanley. Fratton Park. League Two. Saturday, December 13, 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler

Conor Chaplin missed a penalty in the 3-0 loss at Stevenage

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Lancashire Telegraph reporter Suzanne Geldard gives his lowdown on Accrington ahead of their visit to Fratton Park.

It’s fair to say Accrington haven’t always got the results performances have warranted this season.

A point at Notts County was a good one, given that the equaliser came late in the game at Meadow Lane.

But the same could not be said of 1-1 home draws with Luton on the opening day and Northampton Town, despite coming back from behind last weekend.

John Coleman felt they should have won both games.

But it is early days and some new, young players are going through a bedding-in period. It will come.

The manager, staff and players have set big ambitions this season with the aim to get into the top seven.

The last three seasons have been a struggle with the fight for survival going to the wire.

But in the last full season of Coleman’s first spell as manager, the Reds reached the League Two play-offs, with Leam Richardson involved on the playing side. Paul Cook had left, though.

After returning for his second spell in charge almost a year ago, he is in the process of making his squad his own again.

And they should reap the benefits of a full pre-season together, after a mid-season change of manager last year.

Coleman believes there is another promotion in the club.

The closest they have come was in 2010-11 but lost out to Stevenage in the play-off semi-finals.

The team was broken up that summer and since then it has been a constant rebuilding process.

With the financial struggles that come with being a small club, albeit with a big heart, and small crowds it is almost impossible to offer anything longer than a two-year contract.

The best players either move on at the end of their deals or are sold – it’s the only way the club survives.

But that does not stop them from trying to achieve things.

Piero Mingoia, Josh Windass and Matt Crooks are three players who immediately spring to mind Pompey should look out for.

Windass is in the second of his two-year contract and has noticeably improved over the summer, having worked on his fitness, while scoring his first goal senior goal last season lifted his game.

The same is expected of Crooks now having established himself in midfield, while it was a coup to keep winger Mingoia.

If there is one thing you can guarantee about manager Coleman and his team, it’s they will set out to win.

It will be a tall order at Fratton Park but Stanley won’t be short on belief and being in the opposite dugout to Cookie and Leam will give it that extra edge.

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