ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman remembers Derby County challenging at the top end of English football and winning top flight titles.

And he admits the prospect of facing a Rams side he had a soft spot for as a child has added to the romance of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie.

The Reds will be looking to spring another surprise against Frank Lampard’s men having dispensed with fellow Championship club Ipswich Town in round three.

For Coleman, it is a pinch yourself moment to be coming up against two-time champions of the country.

“When I think of Derby I just think back to the Derby teams of the 1970s and they used to enthral me,” said the Reds boss.

“I used to really like Kevin Hector as a player and tried to emulate him on the school playground, they had Alan Hinton, Colin Todd, Roy McFarland, really good players. Franny Lee had a little spell there as well which really made my day because I really liked him as well.

“They had some great cup runs, I remember Roger Davies scoring a great goal, (against Tottenham), when he nicked it round the keeper and put it in the top corner.

“Derby will always be a big club in my eyes. In that respect to play them in a game is good and hopefully we can beat him. They are one of the clubs that I always liked, I am a Liverpool fan but after that it was Leeds and Derby when I was growing up for teams I liked and players I tried to emulate.”

It is a chance for Stanley to reach the fifth round for the first time in their history and Coleman is hoping to prove the pundits wrong who he believes have written his side off before a ball has been kicked.

“I was intrigued by how readily the pundits and the commentators were to write us off,” added the Stanley boss. “When I was watching the replay (between Southampton and Derby), whoever won that game was going to have a walkover against Accrington according to the pundits so that is a bit of motivation for our players to try and prove them wrong.

“Lots of people have written us off time and time again and have been left with egg on their face so we do enjoy trying to confound them.”