Stanley’s loan star Rob has a foot in both camps

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

ACCRINGTON Stanley’s meetings with the stars continue tonight when they take on a Fleetwood side including Barry Ferguson, but on-loan Reds defender Rob Atkinson will miss the clash with his parent club.

Stanley drew 1-1 at Barnet on Friday when the Bees’ former Dutch international Edgar Davids was sent off late on for a foul on Accrington debutant James Beattie.

Beattie is expected to make his second appearance for the club when the Reds travel to Highbury to face Fleetwood, who include former Blackburn Rovers, Rangers and Scotland skipper Ferguson in their line-up.

Ferguson, 34, has made three appearances since joining the Cod Army on loan from Blackpool, with Fleetwood currently sitting fifth in League Two following promotion from the Blue Square Premier.

Their early season form dashed Atkinson’s hopes of regular football at Fleetwood, in his second campaign with the club.

The centre back has since impressed while on loan at Stanley but does not have permission to play tonight against his parent club, who are managed by former Burnley midfielder Micky Mellon.

“I can’t play in the game but they are the rules and I wish the lads all the best,” Atkinson said. “If they play like they did on Friday I’m sure they’ll have a good chance.

“Fleetwood is the club I’m contracted to but I’m at Accrington, so I’ll obviously be watching the game and sitting on the fence really. I suppose a draw will be a good result.”

The second month of Atkinson’s loan at Stanley expires after Saturday’s home game against Gillingham, although the 25-year-old is enjoying his time at the Crown Ground and the deal looks likely to be extended.

“I’m pleased with how I’ve been playing," he said.

“I’ve felt I’ve got stronger and stronger with every game that I’ve played.

“I’m loving playing football every week, that’s what it’s all about.

“The loan runs out on Saturday and it can be extended for another month, so we’ll look at that and see what the gaffer’s plans are. I’m not looking too much further forward than the third month at the moment.

“We’ll see how things go, I’ve got another game against Gillingham and I’m looking forward to that.

“But if they get a good result and play well tonight, it’s a difficult one for me to get back in.

“I’ve got no given right to be put straight back in.

“If the lads play well and people stake a claim for that place, then so be it. I’ll get on with it.

“I hope the lads do well.”

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