ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman is excited for tomorrow's match away at Lincoln City to kickstart the new League One campaign.

The Imps got promoted last season after being crowned League Two champions, and the Stanley boss believes managing pair Danny and Nicky Cowley have awoken a sleeping giant and that his side have been handed a tough opener.

Coleman will be without striker Billy Kee, but he insists he cares about his star man more as a person that a footballer.

"This is what we build up to and it’s one of the toughest games we could’ve picked if we were hand picking it," said Coleman.

"Lincoln back into League One, probably a full house and a good footballing team to go with it. We’ve had some good tussles with them over the years.

"We’re expecting a tough game, but we hope we can give them a tough game as well.

"Our first game last season was a bit of damp squib wasn’t it?

"We went into a decent run after that, they’ll be coming into it full of confidence and used to winning, which always helps.

"We turned it around in the back end of last season and hopefully, we can carry it on."

Coleman believes Lincoln could be a force in League One this season with the good players they have and the winning mentality of the two managers.

"They’ve got some really good players. Jack Payne is really good player as well," added the Reds boss.

"They have got some good players and that’s just mentioning a couple. George Grant. They’re a good team, they’ve got two managers with a really high win percentage.

"They’re used to winning and the set high standards. They’ve been really successful with Lincoln and they’ve awoken a sleeping giant, in my opinion."

Striker Kee will be absent at Sincil Bank tomorrow, but Coleman is more worried about his players wellbeing than he is his footballing status.

Stanley will be without new signing Ben Barclay after he's carried ver a one-game suspension, while Offrande Zanzala will be missing through a hamstring injury.

Billy’s case is that we’re looking at him as a man and not a footballer. We’ve got to hope that his health improves. I class him as a friend and a family member because I’ve known him that long and I’ve got that much affinity to him. I’m more mindful of his wellbeing rather than his status as a footballer.

Ben Barclay has a one game suspension from last season and Offrande Zanzala is out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. It’s a blow to the team because he’s looked a right handful in pre-season, and he has played with Colby before.