John Coleman and Jimmy Bell hopeful of Accrington return

Former Accrington assistant manager Jimmy Bell says he would welcome a return to the club with John Coleman.

Leam Richardson left his post as Stanley boss to become assistant manager at Chesterfield on Tuesday.

Coleman and Bell spent more than 12 years at Accrington before leaving to join Rochdale in January 2012, but were only at Spotland for 12 months.

Bell told BBC Sport: "We are passionate about the club. There is no-one better than us who understands Accrington."

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John Coleman

Prior to John Coleman leaving Accrington to join Rochdale he was the third longest-serving manager in English football (13 seasons) - behind Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (26 seasons) and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (16 seasons).

The duo joined Accrington in 1999, taking them from the Northern Premier League First Division back into the Football League and reaching the League Two play-offs in 2011 before leaving to join Dale.

But they were sacked in January after three straight defeats and a run of two wins in 10 matches.

Bell said: "I know that I can speak for John when I say that we've got a lot of affinity with both the town and club for what it has done for us and what we have done for it.

"We want to repay that faith by building a squad that is capable of pushing to League One and beyond.

"We know Accrington doesn't have a big budget but that never stopped us from improving year-on-year when we were at the club. We know how to get the best from players and that's more important. We are available and would put our heart and soul into the club if we were to return."

After a short spell as caretaker manager following Coleman's exit, Richardson was appointed as Accrington boss on a permanent basis in November 2012.

Stanley were bottom of League Two in March but a final run of five wins in eight games guaranteed survival following their 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

"We built Accrington up from nothing, and watching them struggle to survive these last few months has been really hard to watch," Bell added.

"We went to Bristol Rovers to watch them secure their Football League status, and we've also been giving Leam advice during the past few months, and it would have killed us both had the club been relegated."

Accrington assistant boss Paul Stephenson and first-team coach Paul Lodge will be in charge of first-team affairs until a new manager is appointed.