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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Former Goodison Park favourite James Beattie admits that plotting Everton’s downfall will be a ‘weird’ experience.  

The new Accrington Stanley boss is preparing to take charge of his first home game since his appointment at the League Two club in May.

Accrington will be battling to preserve their 100 per cent pre-season record on Wednesday evening after beating non-league outfits Nelson [4-2], AFC Darwen [4-0] and Altrincham [3-2] in their three friendlies to date.

However, facing Everton – the team Beattie represented 86 times in a two-and-a-half year spell – will be a completely different test, explained the 35-year-old ex-England international.

“It’ll definitely be weird [to face them] but we’re here to do a job and I’ll be professional about it,” said Beattie.

“It’ll be a great occasion but in the back of your mind you always want the team to do well. It’s a great chance for them to pit their wits against some of the Premier League’s finest players.”

“As a player all you want to do is test yourself against the best and I know that’s what the lads in the dressing room want to do.

“They want to test themselves, they want to improve and that is what we are all here to do. I’m here to improve as a manager – I’m just cutting my teeth in the job and what an opportunity this is.

"It’ll be a great spectacle and it’s a massive moment for the club to make a statement in every single sense.”

Beattie insists that Everton’s sell-out away support will add to the occasion.

The Blues are taking 1,600 fans to the game which is being broadcast live on evertontv (7.45pm kick-off).

Beattie continued: “Everton are a fantastic club and it’s amazing to have played for them. I know that the fanbase is ridiculous; they have amazing fans and we’ll welcome them warmly but we’ll be trying to impress them, make a big game of it and give a really good account of ourselves.

“There’s a lot of buzz around the club and around the town and I think the Everton fans and the club as a whole are looking forward to coming.

“It’s a special occasion with it being the 125th anniversary of the first Football League game [between Accrington FC and Everton] and it’s going to be an amazing night.

“It’s my first game in charge at home, the pitch is looking amazing, the weather’s not too bad either and I think it’s going to be a great night for everybody.”

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