John Coleman has fond memories of tonight’s EFL Cup opponents Burnley but is hoping that his next night to remember is at the expense of the Clarets.
The teams meet for the first time in a competitive game at the Wham Stadium in the second round this evening.
And the Stanley boss has revealed that the opposition are a club he’s kept a close eye on for many years.
“I have a bit of an affinity to Burnley because they’re one of the first teams I saw at Anfield when I was a kid,” he explained. “I remember them drawing 3-3. They had some good players then in the old first division.
“They’ve been in the bottom flight, they’ve worked their way back to the top and they should be an inspiration to every team at our level.
“They’ve helped us out hugely in the past coming down to play games against us and plenty of other things too. I hope they can continue to help us out too. It’ll be enjoyable to play them in a competitive game.”
The Clarets are back in the Premier League after winning the Championship title last season and beat Coley’s beloved Liverpool at the weekend. He believes his opposite number Sean Dyche is doing a great job at Turf Moor.
“It’s a remarkable achievement,” said Coleman. “I like Sean, he’s very grounded. He’s enjoyed the Premier League experience but he hasn’t forgotten where he’s come from and he knows it’s a different level up there. It’d be great to see them stay in the Premier League this time.”
Stanley are billed as underdogs for the game, which will be played out in front of a packed house and a live television audience.
Coleman is keen that his team don’t read the script and win through to round three for the first time in the club’s history.
“If I have to raise the players for this game then I shouldn’t be here and they shouldn’t be here to be honest,” he concluded. “It’s a massive game for us, a local derby. One thing that might go against us is how well we did against them last year in pre-season. I don’t think they’ll be taking anything for granted against us.
“I’m going into the game expecting to be favourites to be honest. I believe we can beat anybody and so I’m not classing us as an underdog by any means, even though there’s a gulf in league positions.
“I believe we can play good football and sometimes when you play against a Premier League team it can be better for you because it’s not as hurly burly as League Two.
“I’m expecting big things from us. I could be shocked and I could be disappointed but it won’t be through the want of trying.”