Date: 3rd August 2009 at 5:51pm
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PRE-SEASON was largly positive for John Coleman’s Accrington Stanley, with THREE wins, TWO draws and just the ONE defeat… But now the countdown is on for August 8.

The summer’s preperation kicked off with a string of fixtures against non league opposition with trips to Maidstone, Burscough, FC Halifax Town and Radcliffe Borough, with the Reds managing to avoid any early slip ups.

Then came tougher tests with visits from our two Premier League neighbours Burnley and Blackburn Rovers.

Even though the Clarets had only returned from America just days earlier, Owen Coyle sent his first team to the Crown Ground and showed Stanley the most respect possible, before Rovers three days later sent a strong Reserve side.

Pre-Season results:

Maidstone United – A – (0-2; Cavanagh, Miles)

Burscough – A – (1-1; Grant)

FC Halifax Town – A – (1-3; G King, Grant 2)

Radcliffe Borough – A – (0-5; G King, Joyce, Kee 3)

Burnley – H – (2-2; Miles, McConville)

Blackburn Rovers – H – (0-3)

Only one defeat then, as the Reds switched off in their final prepation game, being beaten 3-0 by Blackburn thanks to goals from Paul Gallagher, who scored twice before Alan Judge netted the third.

‘We were not sharp, we were not as sharp as we were on Tuesday and we have had a good chat with the players. It has brought them down to earth with a bump,’ admitted Stanley manager Coleman, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph.

‘When you come up against good players, you have to raise your game and we didn`t do that. They were too good for us, there is no magic reason behind that.’

But come Saturday, Stanley must be switched on and alert as they make the trip to the Don Valley Stadium to face Rotherham United in just five days time.

Already I have seen seven news sources predicting a bottom two finish for Accrington Stanley, but it’s nothing new!

Since we were promoted I don’t think anyone has given us a chance as we work away on our limited budget, smaller than any other professional club in the country.

And we will suprise a few people next year as we have done in the past.