ACCRINGTON Stanley will prioritise a left back in the January transfer window, manager John Coleman has confirmed.

The Reds have seen Nick Anderton return to Blackpool following his loan spell while Matty Platt and Michael Ihiekwe, both potential options in that position, have returned to parent clubs Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham United respectively.

That means Ben Richards-Everton, a centre half by trade, is expected to fill in on the left for the FA Cup tie with Ipswich Town on Saturday.

“We definitely need a left back, that’s a priority,” said Coleman. Ben’s covered there and he’s done well but by his own admission he’s not a left back.

“That’s an area we need to address. We’ve got Will Wood coming back (from a loan spell at Havant & Waterlooville) so he might be an option as well.

“We knew a couple of weeks ago (about Anderton’s departure) so I was expecting it.

“Matty Platt is also going back, I thought he’d get a lot more game time in the second part of the season as well because I like Matty – he’s got a good future in the game.”

The Reds had seven loanees on their books and have extended the stay of midfielder Dan Barlaser until the end of the season while goalkeeper Connor Ripley is on a season long deal from Middlesbrough, and although there is an option for the Championship side to recall him, Coleman expects him to stay.

Connor Hall is not expected to return to the Reds with Bolton keen for the striker to get more minutes elsewhere should he go out on loan again while Newcastle loanee Luke Charman looks set to return to the North East.

The move to bring back Barlaser has pleased Coleman with the 21-year-old having impressed since joining in August.

“We had a chance to take him last year but the staff at Newcastle were worried he wouldn’t get game time and they were probably right,” the Stanley chief added.

“It was when we were just starting to fly and we had quite a settled side, he went to Crewe and didn’t play much so it’s a big plus to the lad that he’s backed himself to come here.

“We brought Sam Finley in too, I don’t think anyone would’ve dreamt at the start of the season that they’d be the midfield pairing for a big part of the season so they’ve both done well in that respect.

“We’ve always wanted healthy competition here and that’s what we’ve got in our midfield.”