Accrington Stanley boss would be so proud of survival

First published in Football

LEAM Richardson says keeping Accrington Stanley in the Football League would go down as his biggest achievement in the game.

As a player the former defender won promotion to the Premier League, with Bolton Wanderers, and the Football League with Stanley.

As a new manager, the 33-year-old has been charged with retaining the Reds’ position within English football’s 92 teams.

If successful, Richardson insists it would top anything he accomplished as a player.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play for some good clubs and some good managers and get a couple of medals,” he said.

“I was captain of the youth cup team for Blackburn Rovers when we got to the final of the FA Youth Cup.

“I’ve won the LDV Vans Trophy (with Blackpool), I got promoted to the Premier League with Bolton and obviously won the Conference with Accrington.

“But I think from a personal level, with everything I’ve tackled – there’s a lot that people don’t know behind the scenes and the transition and everything else – this will be by far my biggest achievement personally.”

Stanley travel to fellow relegation rivals York City tomorrow sitting two points clear of their opponents who occupy 23rd spot in the table.

Nicky Hunt and Francis Jeffers remain doubtful with hamstring injuries for tomorrow’s trip while there are question marks for the availability of Amine Linganzi, who returned home to France to be with his family following the death of his brother.

But Richardson has praised the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder for starting against Wycombe last Friday, just hours after learning of the tragedy.

“When we got the news quite late on Thursday evening my first thought was to send Amine straight on a flight home to his family, but he knew he couldn’t do much at the time at home and he was still professional enough to remind me that they’re important games.

“He was desperate to play.

“It doesn’t half tell you a lot about the person and the character.

“As soon as the final whistle went in the Wycombe game there were a few hugs and tears and quite a bit of emotion came out that afternoon.”

Linganzi also played his part in the Easter Monday 3-3 draw with Burton Albion, before flying to France.

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and we’re trying to get flights and travel sorted,” said Richardson, of the prospect of Linganzi’s inclusion against York.

“Firstly fair credit to the lad, he played two games over Easter where I don’t think a lot of people would have in the circumstances – never mind playing but playing as well as he did.

“Credit to him, I’m sure it will build him for the future and his character for a long time to come.”

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