ACCRINGTON Stanley’s players may have been given Saturday off, but that wasn’t the case for manager John Coleman as he travelled to Shropshire to run the rule over Tuesday night's opponents Shrewsbury Town.

Stanley were down to take on Bury at the Wham Stadium, but the Shakers’ expulsion from the Football League meant the Reds had a free weekend.

Despite not kicking a ball at the weekend, Stanley remain 11 points away from the relegation zone in League One, but Coleman insists he would rather his team had a game so they had destiny in their own hands.

“I didn’t have a Saturday off; I went to Shrewsbury against MK Dons and that was my Saturday afternoon,” said Coleman.

“They’ve got good players and we saw that against Liverpool – they’ve got players who can hurt you. “We’ve got to come up with a way to counter that, defend it and maybe to attack if we feel we can exploit the areas to score goals.”

Shrewsbury star player Shaun Whalley will be missing from the match as he has a hamstring injury.

Coleman believes Whalley is one of Sam Ricketts’ better players.

“Shaun was in the stands; he’s pulled his hamstring, so he won’t be playing,” Coleman said.

“I love Shaun, he’s a great lad and it’s a blow for him getting injured. He is one of their better players, in my opinion.

Saturday’s day off meant Coleman could scout tonight’s opponents as well as MK Dons, who the Reds will face in the coming weeks.

Shrewsbury and MK Dons played out to a 1-1 draw and the Reds boss said the strong winds ruined the game.

“The results were quite kind to us, but you want to be playing football. You want your destiny in your own hands.

“It gave me an opportunity to run the rule over two teams that we’ll play before the end of the season so that was good.

“It doesn’t help football, to be honest, and the wind really spoilt the game on Saturday for both sides.

“Both teams were inhibited with how they played the game. I’m hoping it dies down for our match.”

New signings Benny-Ashley Seal and Bobby Grant will be available for selection.

Coleman knows what he is getting from Grant as he has pulled on the red shirt in the past, but the Stanley boss was impressed with Wolves loanee Ashley-Seal.

“I saw Benny Ashley-Seal for the first time on Friday and I’m really impressed with him, he impressed me with his attitude, and I think he’ll be a smashing addition to the club,” added Coleman.

“We know all about Bobby Grant so nothing will surprise us, but I was really pleased with what I saw from Benny on Friday.”