sport

Boss backs Beattie's hunger

Leam Richardson believes a hunger for goals has persuaded James Beattie to prolong his playing career with Accrington.

Former England striker Beattie joined Richardson's staff as a player-coach at the Crown Ground last month and hopes to return after two matches on the sidelines in Tuesday night's FA Cup second-round replay at Oxford.

Following a successful spell with Stoke, Beattie struggled to find the net in stints at Rangers, Blackpool and Sheffield United but hit the ground running with three in as many starts for Stanley.

"From a personal point of view James has come in and he's enjoyed playing football again," Reds boss Richardson said.

"He's got goals - that's what he's got throughout his career and that's why he wants to still play football.

"He has experience, a wealth of knowledge and ability to add to the whole squad and the whole club.

"In the dressing room he's fantastic with the young lads. All his experience and information - everything he can give to the young lads he's doing on a regular basis.

"Then obviously on the pitch things look after themselves. He's been a great acquisition and James has enjoyed it."