STANLEY boss John Coleman believes tomorrow’s opponents Fleetwood Town are a club to try and emulate as the pair prepare to meet in League One for the first time.

Both sides have made good starts to the campaign, losing just one game each, with the Cod Army two points better off going into the Highbury clash.

Stanley and Fleetwood met on many occasions as they climbed through the non-league ranks but the duo have not faced each other since the latter earned promotion to the third tier in 2014.

Since then they have reached the play-offs and made huge strides off the pitch under owner Andy Pilley, something Coleman is hoping Stanley can match.

The Reds should have their new stand open for early December while chairman Andy Holt also has training ground plans in the pipeline.

And Coleman thinks Fleetwood’s model is a shining example.

“He (Pilley) has not just invested in the team he has invested in the infrastructure and the training ground and our chairman is following suit.

“Hopefully we will try and emulate them. Our chairman is a very forward-thinking person.

“You could argue that Fleetwood did use a sledge hammer to crack a walnut when they won the lower echelons of non league but if you have that at your disposal then why not?

“They have grown into an established League One club very quickly and you wouldn’t recognise the place from when we used to go and play there years ago.”

The Cod Army are now under the guidance of former Burnley man Joey Barton, someone who Coleman has known for years, and the Reds chief is looking forward to coming up against the 36-year-old for the first time and believes the once-capped England international will be a successful manager.

“I have had a good few chats with him since he took over and I think he will do a really good job,” said the Reds chief.

“I think Joey has got the personality to be a manager, he knows the game, he is a deep thinker about the game and he will analyse things.

“I definitely wouldn’t want him to fail, he is a character and there are not enough characters in the game. Too many people are safe and I think there are things that he has done in the past that he will regret but you should always look forward.

“You watch a lot of managers coming through and you listen to interviews and it could be anyone of 20 people saying the same things so at least you are going to get something different off Joey.

“You are going to get an honest, sometimes controversial, opinion but it makes things interesting and it is certainly not dull times when he is around.”