JOHN Coleman is hoping Saturday’s record Wham Stadium crowd can be a sign of things to come at the Wham Stadium as his side prepare for a first ever meeting with Sunderland.

The two sides meet as equals in League One in a clash that will see the 5,000 figure broken at Stanley for the first time.

The Black Cats have sold out a 2,500 ticket allocation and will have two sides of the ground but Reds fans will outnumber their visitors.

And Coleman, whose side were watched by a then record 4,801 crowd against Barnsley last month, hopes the matchday experience will tempt a few more regulars down Livingstone Road.

“If you look at the Barnsley day which is the record we are going to beat, I think every one of their fans would say they enjoyed it,” said the Reds boss.

“I know they won but I think they would have enjoyed it whatever the result and that is the experience we are trying to put on here.

“There are people working hard behind the scenes to make sure that when you come to Accrington it is unique, it is not just about a cheap pint, it is the entertainment that is put on. There is no animosity, we treat away fans like we treat our home fans and we want them to enjoy the experience as much as our home fans do apart from the result.

“I think slowly but surely the away fans are realising that it is a good experience to go to Accrington and now we have to take the next step and make the home fans realise that.”

The record crowd will come just seven days after Stanley attracted just 1,066 for the visit of Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup, something Coleman does not want to see again.

“I was devastated with the crowd last week,” he added. “I think it set an all-time low for a second round tie in the FA Cup. I know it is coming up to Christmas and people have to prioritise where the spending goes but we have a lot of season ticket holders who get games very, very cheaply for the product we are serving up here when they buy their ticket.

“A lot of them will refuse to pay for the cup so they are not supporting the club as well as they should.

“I implore them to support us whatever the competition is and whatever the stage is because if we had pulled a home tie against Manchester United or Liverpool in the FA Cup (the Reds drew Championship side Ipswich) then the season ticket holders who stayed away for the Cheltenham game would have been the first in the queue demanding their right as a season ticket holder to be prioritised for a ticket. The people who should be prioritised in any cup competition are the ones that went to the round before.

“We have to try and coax more people in.”