John Coleman: Accrington Stanley good enough for automatic promotion, says boss
Boss John Coleman believes Accrington Stanley's efforts should have been rewarded with automatic promotion, rather than a spot in the play-offs.
Accrington needed a final-day win to secure promotion to League One, but they were held to a draw by Stevenage.
They finished with 85 points, a tally which would have seen them go up in each of the previous seven seasons, but they missed out on goal difference.
"We were good enough to get promoted" Coleman told BBC Radio Lancashire.
"At the start of the season I thought 85 points would have been good enough."
Twice in the past seven years the 85-point total would have been enough to go up as champions, with Gillingham winning the League Two title with 83 points in 2012-13, while it took 84 points for Chesterfield to finish top 2013-14.
"A lot of people have said to me this week that I'd have taken the play-offs at the start of the year, but I genuinely wouldn't have," 53-year-old Coleman said.
"For whatever reason we haven't got enough points, but I would have bitten your hand off for 85 points."
Coleman has guided Stanley to the League Two play-offs for the second time in six years, with his side beaten by Stevenage at the semi-final stage in 2010-11.
Accrington, unbeaten in 12 games, start their play-off campaign against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow on Saturday, with the return leg on Wednesday.
While Coleman refuses to look ahead to a potential Wembley play-off final, he does hope his players can deliver overdue celebrations.
"We are probably the only team at this stage who had the champagne and the flags brought to two games and not got them out," Coleman said.
"Let's hope they don't get put away for a third time."