Beattie: I won't play Scrooge at Christmas
JAMES Beattie will give his Accrington Stanley squad the day off on Christmas Day this year, as he places his trust in them to return to winning ways over the festive period.
Stanley travel to Mansfield Town tomorrow in the first of five fixtures in the space of 15 days over Christmas and New Year.
It will be Beattie’s first festive period as a manager but he will get the opportunity to return to the south coast to visit his wife and children on Christmas Day after opting to give his players the day off, rather than calling them in for a training session ahead of the Boxing Day home game with York.
Trust has always been a key part of Beattie’s management style and he will put his faith in his squad to prepare in the right way in the days to come, as they attempt to bounce back from successive defeats.
“I trust these lads,” said the Stanley boss. “I’ve trusted them when they’ve had time off before and I’ve never had one complaint about any of my players.
“I just think it’s down to themselves. If they want to overindulge and eat rubbish on Christmas Day, no-one’s saying they’re not going to have a Christmas dinner, but everything’s got to be in moderation.
“If they prepare not so good then they’re going to play not so good and that’s a fact.
“But I’m sure these lads will prepare in the right way.”
Beattie moved his family to Poole near Bournemouth shortly before joining Stanley as a player-coach last year.
He lives in Blackburn with his mother during the week, but regularly commutes to see his wife Sarah and three children James, George and Halle and will be with them on Christmas Day.
“Giving the lads the day off on Christmas Day is going to be a massive bonus for me, because it’s not always that way,” he said.
“It’s tough being up here working all week and not seeing my kids because anybody would tell you that’s probably one of the hardest things of the job.
“But it’s a job I love doing and I’ve got the full support of my wife.”
Danny Webber is a doubt for tomorrow’s game, with the striker feeling under the weather and sleep deprived after his partner gave birth this week.
Centre back Rob Atkinson comes into contention after a hamstring injury, while keeper Andrew Dawber has returned to training after a groin operation.
Beattie made a rather public scouting visit to Mansfield on Tuesday when he appeared as a pundit on BT Sport for their televised FA Cup second round replay against Oldham, which the Latics won 4-1.
“I was going to the game anyway with Stevo (assistant manager Paul Stephenson) so it was a nice surprise when BT Sport called me up and asked me to be a guest on the show for them,” said the boss.
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