Saints legend to lend a hand at Stanley

Stanley boss James Beattie

Stanley boss James Beattie

First published in Sport
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This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

ACCRINGTON Stanley will be picking up tips from Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier at training ahead of tomorrow’s home game against League Two leaders Chesterfield.

Le Tissier is good friends with Stanley boss James Beattie after the pair played together at Southampton and is in the north west following an after-dinner speaking engagement in Altrincham last night.

The 45-year-old will be visiting training today and passing on advice to Stanley’s youthful squad, which Beattie believes will be of real benefit to his players.

“Mat Le Tis is coming in, he’s doing a bit of after-dinner speaking close by so he said he wanted to come in and see how it all works here,” said the Stanley manager.

“Hopefully he’ll bring his boots with him and he can show us all a thing or two because he definitely showed me some things when I was a young lad at Southampton. I think the lads will be really buzzing to see him.

“He’s got plenty in the locker still, it’s just getting about the pitch these days for Tis!

“He’s a legend of the game. That word is used too often but I think it’s well used on Tis.”

Stanley will face a Chesterfield side who are managed by former Reds boss Paul Cook, who was beaten 1-0 on his return to the Store First Stadium last season.

Accrington were managed then by Leam Richardson, who had brought in Beattie as player-coach.

Richardson has since followed Cook to Chesterfield as assistant manager, after keeping Stanley in the Football League last term, and will return to his old club for the first time tomorrow.

Beattie, who succeeded Richardson as manager at Stanley, hopes his pal will get a good reception from the Accrington fans.

“In the season he became manager I think he did a tremendous job,” Beattie said.

“We’re in a similar sort of position to this time last year when we went on a great run and hopefully we can do that again.

“I speak to Leam on a regular basis and I owe him a lot. I probably wouldn’t be sat here if it wasn’t for him, so the level of respect is always going to be there.

“He’s my friend first and foremost.

“But he’ll be coming here looking to get a result with Chesterfield.

“We’re in a position where we can stop them.”

Stanley have suffered defeats in their last two matches at Portsmouth and Burton to slip to third bottom in League Two, albeit still four points clear of the relegation zone.

But Beattie was left furious with refereeing decisions in both matches, believing that Portsmouth’s Romain Padovani should have been sent off for a tackle on Peter Murphy, before being left baffled by the award of a late penalty at Burton.

The Stanley boss met referees’ chief David Allison yesterday afternoon to discuss his concerns over recent decisions.

“There are certain key points in recent games that we felt couldn’t go without giving it our attention,” Beattie said.

“Dave Allison has been in and he’s a good fellow.

“I’ve said before that I feel it’s unfair to put them in the position of refereeing a match that is our livelihood and they’re just part time. I think they’re under-trained and the Premier League are not going to get new refs coming through unless they filter some of the billions of pounds they’ve got up there to the rest of the referees.

“All the Premier League referees are full time but these lads are part time and as much as you want to get annoyed at them when they do make bad decisions, I still think it’s unfair on them in that position and they do need more training and some help.

“Every now and again it just needs someone to put their hand up and say, ‘Yes, I have made a mistake’. We have to do it, the players have to do it, but it seems as though they just close ranks and stand by their decisions. It’s plain for everybody to see that some of the decisions are wrong.”

Stanley welcome back Laurence Wilson from a three-match ban tomorrow, but Nicky Hunt starts a two-match suspension after picking up his 10th booking of the season at Burton.

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