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Beattie to keep faith with his rocked Reds
ACCRINGTON boss James Beattie is keeping faith with defensive pairing Dean Winnard and Tom Aldred – even though Rob Atkinson is set to return following Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to Exeter City.
Atkinson was a regular in the Stanley defence before suffering a serious hamstring injury in October and is now ready to make a comeback when the Reds travel to Mansfield Town at the weekend.
But Beattie has been impressed with the way Winnard and Aldred have linked up in the centre of defence in Atkinson’s absence.
Even though the duo had a more difficult afternoon against Exeter, when Stanley conceded three goals in the opening 24 minutes, the Stanley boss says that will not tempt him to wield the axe.
“Rob trained last week but if he’d been called upon early on Saturday we would have been putting him at risk,” Beattie said. “I spoke to him before the game, and we’ll get him another week’s training and he’ll be in contention.
“He hasn’t played a game for near on 10 weeks now, so we’ll have to take everything into consideration.
“Deano and Tom have been magnificent for eight weeks. One game or maybe just 25 minutes of indifferent form doesn’t determine whether they’re going to start or not start the next game.”
Stanley opted not to name a substitute goalkeeper, with Ian Dunbavin left out of the 18-man squad. “It’s just a decision that we made,” Beattie said.
“It’s a slight risk but it’s one I’m willing to take.”
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