SEAMUS Conneely is relishing his partnership in the heart of the Stanley midfield with Sam Finley.

The Accrington skipper had the best view of the 27-year-old starring in the 1-1 draw with Blackpool on Saturday.

Finley’s cross set up Curtis Tilt’s on goal while another centre resulted in Reds striker Dion Charles heading against the crossbar.

Conneely revealed that his right-hand man’s energy and industry has also led to the former AFC Fylde man being likened to Wayne Rooney by boss John Coleman and his assistant Jimmy Bell.

“I enjoy the partnership and think he’s a great player,” said the Reds captain.

“I just try and get the ball and give it to him. I think he’s got wonderful talent.

“Some of the situations he manages to get out of I’ve no idea how he does it.

“He’s great on the turn and all-action. I know Jimmy and the gaffer love him because he just plays the game with a real enthusiasm and love for the game.

“They think he’s like a Wayne Rooney or something, maybe not as good as that, but he’s got that kind of mentality.”

It was Finley’s creativity that caught the eye against their Lancashire rivals at the weekend.

“It was a great ball in for the goal,” Conneely said.

“We always say put the ball in the box and get defenders running back on goal then you never know what can happen.

“Thankfully for us this one looped in.”

Finley is one of a number of players to have stepped up from non-league in moving to the Wham Stadium.

The former Everton youngster arrived from AFC Fylde in the summer of 2018 with Colby Bishop and Dion Charles following him in making Football League moves ahead of the current season.

Conneely is confident their development and that of the loan players dropping down from higher division clubs means that the Reds will naturally improve week on week.

“We will only get better,” the skipper said.

“As we get to understand one another things will get better because that’s what a team is, it’s understanding how your right winger plays, how your centre forward plays, how your central midfielder plays, and they are things that we’re building in training.

“They really do come to the fore and you’re developing those relationships during games.

“It might take two or three games but you’ve got to learn fast in this league.”

Bishop has made the step up after his move from Leamington look easy but has joined Offrande Zanzala and Courtney Baker-Richardson on the sidelines.

He will however hope to recover from a calf injury in time to resume his partnership with Charles at Southend on Saturday after Preston loanee Connor Simpson came in for his full debut against Blackpool.

Conneely admits it has been a battle for Stanley in the final third thus far.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve always had good centre forwards and exciting players,” he said.

“It’s difficult for them to build a partnership if they’re not playing week in, week out.

“Colby and Dion were starting to do that and for Connor to come in it was difficult but I thought he did well and threw himself about a bit.

“It’s a step up though from what he’s used to playing. We’re down to the bare bones up top but we’ve just got to knuckle down.”