LEAM Richardson is prepared to take a patient approach with James Beattie after the former England striker built up match fitness with a substitute appearance on his Accrington Stanley debut.
Beattie made his first appearance for the Reds as a 79th-minute substitute in Friday’s 1-1 draw at Barnet, and hit the headlines immediately as ex-Holland star Edgar Davids was shown as a second yellow card for a foul on the striker.
The 34-year-old has joined Stanley in a player-coach role on an initial deal until January and Richardson was pleased with his cameo performance at Underhill.
Beattie had not played since being released by Sheffield United at the end of last season and will need time to reach full match fitness, despite keeping himself in shape during his spell without a club.
“You’ve got to look after your senior players and we will do with James,” said Richardson ahead of tomorrow’s League Two trip to Fleetwood.
“The more minutes he can get on the pitch for us, everybody will benefit from that, the lads playing, the results, the fans, everyone.
“He’s a bubbly character and his quality tells you he needs to play.
“But he’s a good pro and he has no problems whatsoever, he’ll support the team regardless and he’s shown that very early on.
“He’s offering advice every single minute, every single day, and you could see when he came on that he’s still got a bit (of quality).”
Davids felt aggrieved about being sent off following his foul on Beattie, insisting he had not deliberately targeted the forward.
“He was dropping like a hot potato,” Davids said.
“I don’t care if he is an ex-England international.
“I didn’t want to give him a welcome. There is no individual vendetta or targeting a person because that’s nonsense.”
Rommy Boco netted Stanley’s goal on his 100th appearance for the Reds – his sixth strike since his return for a second spell at the start of the season.
And the Benin international admitted he felt privileged to play against Davids on the day he reached the milestone.
“It was an honour to play against him,” said Boco, who now speaks fluent English after struggling with the language during his first spell with Stanley.
“I used to watch Edgar Davids’ videos and I used to watch him play for Juventus and Holland and big clubs, so it was an honour and a good thing to remember.
“When I left Accrington I couldn’t remember how many games I played, I played in the Conference and in the league and for a while I was maybe on the bench.
“But it’s a good thing to make 100 appearances for Accrington.
“I was a bit young the first time I came here so I needed to learn about how to deal with people because it’s a different culture, a different mentality.
“The first time I couldn’t understand a joke, a team-mate’s joke or something like that, so I was always a bit down and it affected my play.
“But now I’m a very happy man and it’s easier for me to play and try to show my ability.”
But there was frustration for Stanley after Barnet were allowed to retake a penalty for their equaliser. Ian Dunbavin was ruled to have moved off his line when he saved Mark Byrne’s initial spot kick.
Richardson confirmed he would be making his feelings known about the performance of the officials. Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was part of the watching delegation in the stands.
“If you look at other penalties, they will be exactly the same and they won’t be retaken,” said the Stanley boss.
“There is no consistency. The assessors need to address that and I will address that with the marks that I give the referee.”