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Reds boss calls for a Rochdale response
ACCRINGTON Stanley suffered defeat in their much anticipated clash with John Coleman’s Rochdale, but Paul Cook has urged his side to use that pain to produce a response at Torquay tomorrow.
Former Stanley manager Cole-man’s return to the Crown Ground on Saturday was regarded by many Reds fans as the biggest game of the season but, despite an encouraging display, Accrington were beaten 3-2 in the derby clash.
Cook admitted defeat in such a fixture – against Coleman and assistant Jimmy Bell, both friends from childhood – was particularly painful but knows his young Stanley side can only be successful this season if they are able to react to such results.
The Reds currently sit ninth in the table, with a game in hand following the recent postponement of their clash with Rotherham.
Cook said: “I know John, Jimmy, Joe (Hinnigan) and the rest of the staff at Rochdale wanted to win.
“We were the same. But after that you shake hands.
“You have to be able to take defeats well because as much as it hurts to lose, you can’t win every week. To create a winning mentality at a football club you must feel pain.
“That pain should drive you on for better success.
“John and Jimmy are great friends of ours but I’m glad the game is out of the way now because we all move on.
“Over 46 games if you’re not expecting bad runs and defeats there’s something wrong with you.
“It’s how you react to defeats that is the most important thing.
“Defeats hurt, they take time to get over and it’s the manager’s job to pick players up.
“Every team in the league will have bad runs.
“It’s how you come through it and how quickly you come through it.”
Three seasons ago a home defeat to Rochdale saw Stanley go on a nightmare run to slide out of play-off contention at the end of the season. But the Reds have so far appeared resilient this season, with their previous two league losses this season both followed by wins.
Stanley, though, have twice lost despite coming from 2-0 down in recent weeks – against Rochdale and Chesterfield – with Cook stressing the importance of getting the first goal at Torquay.
They conceded after only 23 seconds against Rochdale.
“When you go 2-0 down, when you get back to 2-2 you think you’ve done enough,” he said.
“Unfortunately the hard work’s just beginning and it’s happ-ened to us twice this year.
“But we look at the stats, every manager does now-adays, and when we’ve taken the lead in a game we’ve never lost. So the first goal is vital.”
Dean Winnard (pic-tured) is struggling to be fit after injury.