JOHN Coleman described his Accrington Stanley squad as “a work in progress” but is confident he will be able to get back to day one form.
The Reds kicked off the new League One campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over promotion wannabes Peterborough United, but have suffered consecutive losses since then.
Stanley’s boss admits it was a challenge getting nine new signings to freeze, with more arrivals expected before the transfer deadline.
But he has seen enough from his new-look team to give him optimism for the next campaign.
“It’s always hard to get someone to cooperate, and we still think we haven’t stopped recruiting yet,” Coleman said.
“I still think we are a work in progress. There are a lot of young players. We have to improve and we have to improve quickly.
“We have set a decent standard of work pace and work ethic and good football against Peterborough and have abandoned this standard.
“We need to pass the ball better, we need to work harder, we need to work harder in defense and attack, and we need to start asking more questions to our opponents.
“I know they’re a nice bunch of guys though. If I didn’t think I might be a little worried, but I’m not.
“I think we can only get better.”
Coleman believes they could have gotten more out of their home game with Oxford, but due to extenuating circumstances leading to a 4-1 defeat, including a 75-minute red card for Dion Charles – an appeal to which it was surprisingly unsuccessful.
Striker Charles was accused of stepping on an opponent’s head. Boss Stanley immediately jumped into his player’s defense and is baffled by the decision.
“We’ve lost an appeal – I don’t know how why we talk to everyone related to the referees, you talk to Oxford and they come forward and say Dion didn’t step on anyone, yet we didn’t.” I don’t have enough evidence to say he didn’t ha, ”Coleman explained.
“If you watch the video – and we have a better camera at the top (of the booth) – it doesn’t do anything.
“He’s got that blemish on his character now, he’s losing money because he’s going to lose the money from the looks, and that’s not fair.
“Not only was this an important factor in losing the match, we lost it for three matches.
“You just have to get on with it, even if you think it’s grossly unfair it’s an integral part of life to be involved in football.
“You can’t complain, you can’t be too blunt or you will be punished yourself.”
Charles begins the first of his three-match ban on Saturday when Stanley heads to a previously undefeated AFC Wimbledon.
“They did well and they found a way to win. They had some weird games, the four with Plymouth and the draw with Northampton,” said Coleman.
“All we can do is get back to playing the way we know we can, which is on the attack foot, a good attacking kick. I know we have the players, we hope to have Tariq (Uwakwe) back this week too. , which gives us a bit more firepower.
“I just think the more the season goes on, the better it will be.”