ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman has dedicated his League One manager of the month award to his team - both on and off the pitch.

The Reds chief picked up the prize after orchestrating an unbeaten run in response to their FA Cup exit and Covid outbreak.

Stanley suffered a first round defeat in their first game back after the club was forced to shutdown for two weeks when 17 players and two members of staff tested positive for coronavirus in October.

But since then they have not lost in eight games, with 10 points from a possible 12 picked up in November, with progress also made in the Papa John’s Trophy. And Coleman acknowledged a collective effort in receiving his award.

“It should be named team of the month to be honest, I’m just a small part of it,” said the Stanley manager.

“I’ve got great staff here who work ever so hard and prepare really well for the games and the players have been running themselves into the ground after the Covid situation. There were little bits of doubts on their fitness, they’ve worked hard on that and they don’t leave anything on the pitch, they run themselves into the ground and practically crawl off the pitch.

“It’s a pat on the back for them really. We have been on a decent run since the FA Cup loss to Tranmere where I think we most or less beat ourselves,” said the Reds boss.

“We have been trying to put the Tranmere game to bed and try to repair the damage that we did.

“This team don’t surprise me though. I know they are a great set of lads, there are no airs and graces.

“We have got lads from top Premier League clubs and they don’t turn their nose up at anything.

“We haven’t got the salubrious surroundings of what their training grounds are but they get on with it, enjoy it and bounce off each other and they work hard.

“That’s something we have always demanded at this club, that they work hard and try and enjoy it. I am a firm believer if you enjoy doing anything in life, you are going to do it better.

“It’s not about barking orders, we try to get them to discover for themselves a better way of playing. I have never barked orders, although some players need that!

“As I have got older, I have learnt if you can see a reason behind doing something you are going to do it more and make it work than if you are getting told it’s going to happen.

“We have got a few intelligent players in there, a few who aren’t so bright, but it’s a great mix of lads.

“The older lads are crucial to that, the likes of Mark Hughes, below, Sean McConville, Seamus Conneely, they give the lads grounding as well and bounce off their youthful enthusiasm.”

Stanley have been drawn away to Lincoln City in the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy.

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