Doncaster Rovers v Accrington Stanley - Punching above their weight on Boxing Day

WHEN it comes to discussion of surprise packages towards the top end of League One, the names of Doncaster Rovers and Accrington Stanley leap from the page.
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman: Respected.Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman: Respected.
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman: Respected.

The Roses duo are pitted alongside a number of aspiring former Premier League outfits and a forward-thinking club whose mission is to reach the Championship in Lincoln City.

No-one is punching above their weight more than Accrington, with Darren Moore fulsome in his praise of the work done by one of the lower-division most adept operators in John Coleman.

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Rovers manager Moore, whose side are seeking to hit back at the first opportunity after their midweek home loss to Shrewsbury Town, said: “The mentality of the group has been good and when they have had setbacks, they have responded quite well.

“We are looking to do the same, but we are coming up against an impressive team in terms of their results and it will be a good footballing match.

“They are a team who play the right way and on the front foot and play attacking, free-flowing football.

“They have taken teams on and they are managed by a really experienced manager in John, who knows this level inside out.

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“Their position shows their consistency as a football club. They know who they are and what they are about and their recruitment process is excellent.”

Going into the Boxing Day programme, just five points separate eighth-placed Accrington from leaders Portsmouth and despite the size of a number of clubs towards the top, size does not necessarily matter according to Moore and he has cited a big reason why in a unique 2020-21.

He added: “What I feel this season is that anybody can beat anybody.

“Teams at the bottom can beat teams at the top and vice-versa right the way through the division. There is no game where you can say it will be a foregone conclusion and there will be lots of twists and turns where you might raise your eyebrows because of the way the league is panning out. A major factor could be with fans not in at grounds.”

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