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Accrington Stanley boss grateful to pal Leam
11:20am Friday 6th September 2013 in Football
ACCRINGTON Stanley will be in the unusual situation of facing their two most recent managers when they travel to Chesterfield tomorrow, and current boss James Beattie is relishing the chance to face his good friend Leam Richardson.
This will be the third different clash of past versus present within 12 hectic months for Stanley.
Last October Paul Cook’s Stanley were beaten 3-2 at the Crown Ground by John Coleman’s Rochdale.
Cook soon departed for Chesterfield and was defeated 1-0 on his return to Stanley, then managed by Leam Richardson.
Having helped Stanley avoid relegation, Richardson followed Cook to Derbyshire this summer to become Chesterfield’s assistant manager.
It was Richardson who brought Beattie to Stanley as a player-coach last November, before recommending him for the manager’s job in May.
So while it will be a strange afternoon as Beattie, Cook and Richardson all occupy the same touchline at the Proact Stadium tomorrow, there will be great respect between all three men.
“Leam probably owes his chance at being a manager to Cooky and I probably owe my chance at being a manager to Leam,” Beattie said.
“We all get on, but the will to win will always be there.
“Leam and I had several discussions about him maybe going to Chesterfield and I know that he was the one who put my name forward to Peter (Marsden) and the board, so for that I’m very thankful.
“We’ve been mates for over 10 years and him asking me to come in and play last year was a no-brainer.
“People looking from the outside now probably think it was part of a masterplan and it was all in place and ready to move on anyway.
“It has answered the people who were saying, ‘Why has James Beattie gone to Accrington?’.
“I can’t really hear those people talking any more.
“It seems to have all slipped into place very nicely, but I know that Leam was a big part of that and for that I’m very thankful.”
Richardson’s departure came as a shock to many, after he had overcome a difficult initial period as boss and saved the club from dropping into non-league with a fine run of form at the end of the season.
“The club has got a debt of gratitude to him,” Beattie said.
“He did a fantastic job with what he did last year. He impressed me as a player with the stuff that he was saying to us.
“He’s chosen to go and work with Cooky now and Chesterfield are top of the league and enjoying themselves.
“I speak to him on a regular basis but once the whistle goes on Saturday there might be a few bits of verbals between us!
“Come the end of the game though it will be friends as usual.”
Stanley will also be facing three of their former players with Gary Roberts, Jimmy Ryan and Jamie Devitt all in Chesterfield’s squad.
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