Richardson bids to win battle of former Rovers

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

EX-WORLD Superbike champion Carl Fogarty is scheduled to be a guest at the Crown Ground tomorrow, but it is Accrington Stanley boss Leam Richardson who will hope to be riding high after his duel with fellow former Blackburn Rovers trainee Gareth Ainsworth.

Stanley host Wycombe Wanderers in League Two hoping to end a run of four games without victory and are also bidding to claim their first win at the Crown Ground since an October triumph over Bristol Rovers – days after the departure of Paul Cook to Chesterfield.

The Reds have slipped to 17th in League Two in recent weeks but Richardson believes wins are just around the corner.

Stanley entertain struggling Wycombe and Plymouth in their next two league games, either side of Tuesday’s FA Cup second round replay at Oxford United – rearranged after being frozen off in midweek.

Guest for the day in club’s hospitality lounge tomorrow will be Blackburn motorcycling legend Fogarty.

And on the touchline Richardson will go head to head with Wycombe boss Ainsworth, another man recently appointed to his first job in management.

Both started their playing careers at Blackburn Rovers, although Ainsworth is six years older than 33-year-old Richardson.

Asked about recent home results, Richardson said: “People do say it evens itself out but you look back on game such as Gillingham and Rotherham we did enough to win, never mind just get a point or nothing.

“We are playing well and in the main we are creating chances.

“You can never really have any problems with that so you persist and try to add a little bit of quality. If you win two to three games on the bounce you’ll jump seven or eight places.

“It is very surprising where Wycombe are in the table.

“I don’t think you’ll find them down there at the end of the season, they are a big club and the manager has stepped in and done a great job.

“He’s doing a very similar job to myself down at Wycombe.

“He seems to have taken to it well.”

Stanley are hopeful the game will go ahead with temperatures due to rise before tomorrow.

James Beattie’s fitness will be assessed after he missed Sunday’s game at Burton because of injury, although Richardson says the rearrangement of the FA Cup match at Oxford will not affect team selection tomorrow.

“Not really,” he said.

“We were geared up for the FA Cup, it was a big game so for the weather to affect us is a bit disappointing.

“We’ve got a big week now, we’ve got two home games and the FA Cup game on Tuesday.

“James is with the medical team and we will assess that daily, if he’s fit and ready to play for the replay it’s obviously a good thing, you want James in your team.

“Hopefully James can return quite swiftly and be involved in a big part of our season.”

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