John Coleman doesn’t doubt last season’s final day devastation will be in the minds of players, staff and supporters alike this weekend but sees no reason why it can’t be a motivation.
The Reds face Stevenage for the first time since a 0-0 draw in May denied them automatic promotion to League One.
It was the first time in the entire league campaign Coleman’s team had failed to score at the Wham Stadium and the manager expects Boro’s return to bring back those memories.
“It’s inevitable it’ll be in our heads and why not?” he said. “We have to use it to motivate us. If I was playing I’d be absolutely desperate to win. I’m desperate to win every game but there are always those that have an extra bit of spice. This is certainly one.
“It would make a difference for me to win. I can’t speak for the players but certainly for me. There are a couple of things I’d want to put right from last time.
“It’s a marvellous opportunity for us to get back on track. We’re still within touching distance of the play-offs and eventually we’re going to hit form again at home. Let’s hope it starts this weekend.”
After a spell of one win from five games and one home victory in the last four attempts, Coleman is keen that his players are proactive to take the three points this weekend.
“We’ve got to be more forceful and make more chances,” he explained. “At Luton it was a classic away performance, apart from conceding the goal when we did. We controlled the game for long periods and if you watch it back they hardly troubled us in open play but that’s not enough for me.
“I think we have to take games by the scruff of the neck; go out there and win them. I think we were happy keeping Luton at arm’s length and I’ve left the players in no uncertain terms that we’re not about doing that.
“We got the blend right against Bradford so there’s clearly a way of doing it. Possibly we have to change the style of play at home and that’s something that we’ve looked at this week.
“As the home games have come and gone we’ve looked at it and we have to try and address the situation. We have to be more forceful and we have to get more people in advanced positions. That might mean a change of system, which is something we’ve been working on.”