Accrington boss John Coleman: Portsmouth couldn't handle 'breathtaking' football and graft - but will be in promotion contention this season

John Coleman saluted Accrington’s ‘breathtaking’ hard-running demolition of Pompey.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 6:56 pm

The Blues simply couldn’t contain Coleman’s men as they set about them in the second-half with a high-tempo performance at the Crown Ground.

Three goals arrived in 15 second-half minutes with Pompey’s new-look defence collapsing, as Accrington also hit the woodwork twice.

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Coleman told the Lancashire Telegraph: ‘I’m delighted with the lads. They’ve got their rewards for their efforts.

‘We’ve spoken about getting back to passing the ball. We were mixing the game up a little bit, not taking too many undue risks, but started to get back to playing the way we know we can play which is very much a passing based game and pressing.

‘We’ve played similar to that this season, but the ball just hasn’t hit the back of the net – today it did

‘For the first 40 minutes you were thinking it wouldn’t, we made chances and hit the woodwork twice like we always do.

Kenny Jackett and Accrington Stanley Manager John Coleman. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

‘We handled the set-back of going behind against a good Portsmouth side. They’ve been unbeaten for a good spell; they’ve climbed the table and they’ll be right up there come the end of the season.

‘You’ve got to earn that right and you do that by working hard. We worked ever so hard today and we ran ourselves into the ground.

‘I don’t think even the most hardened of Portsmouth fans can say we didn’t deserve the win.’

Despite having just four wins in the league before the weekend, Coleman felt his side produced some ‘breathtaking’ football as they clocked up 18 shots to Pompey’s 11.

After Dion Charles had put Stanley 2-1 up in the 62nd minute, Pompey’s 10-game unbeaten run never looked like being maintained.

Coleman added ‘We knew it was going to be a tough game, we applied ourselves really well and the players took on board everything that I said to them during the week.

‘When we play that type of football, some of what we played in the second half was breathtaking and the first half to be fair, but the second half was full of nice touches.

‘That comes with confidence, when the ball’s going in the net then them back heels start coming off and people are always running onto the second balls and we’re having shots.’

‘It’s great to watch and it’s great for the fans to watch. It’s great for me to watch and it must be great to play in.’