John Coleman loves the magic of the Emirates FA Cup and knows how it can change the fortunes of a club.
In 2003, Stanley’s run which saw them beat Huddersfield, Bournemouth in a replay before losing to Colchester, earned them the finances to go full-time and, three years later, return to the Football League after a 44-year absence.
While some managers may not take it as seriously as in years gone by, Coleman isn’t one of them as he knows the difference a cup run can make as he looks ahead to Saturday’s third round clash with fellow League Two side Luton Town.
“When I was younger, the FA Cup was a rare opportunity to watch live football. It was special and you watched all the build-up from 9am until later, no matter who was playing.
“With the Champions League and the explosion of the Premier League you can watch four games in a day so it’s not as glamorous as it once was.
“But we know what the money a FA Cup run, and a plum fourth round tie, could do for the club.
“We have had some special days at home in the FA Cup. There was Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Colchester and those games altered the destiny of Accrington Stanley just by the influx of finances it brought.
“This could be another chance to do it again and take us to the next stage to go further on.”
Stanley play promotion-chasing Luton Town at the Wham Stadium but Coleman knows it doesn’t matter who they play on FA Cup third round day.
“They are above us in the league table and Luton are a good side but our form has been good recently, even though the results have not been what we would have wanted,” he added.
“In this case I believe the table does lie. We shouldn’t be a bottom half of the table team and we believe we can beat them.”