Fleetwood boss hails real deal number nine

Jamie Proctor
Jamie Proctor

Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley hailed Jamie Proctor as a genuine ‘number nine’ as the striker helped Town to their second win in the space of eight days.

Proctor stole the ball from the feet of Paul Digby, forcing his way beyond Barnsley’s centre back pair and slotting low past Nick Townsend to seal the points at Oakwell.

And, having given the former Preston a dressing down after Tuesday night’s defeat at Bramall Lane, Pressley was delighted to see the response from the centre forward.

Proctor was singled out for praise by the hard-working Scot who has lifted the Highbury club out of the drop zone.

He said: “It was a very professional performance, a very disciplined performance and to a man I’m proud of them.

“All you ask as a manager is that they leave nothing on the pitch, they did that.

“Jamie Proctor played like a proper number nine.

“I had a go at him after the performance at Sheffield United.

“That was the reaction I wanted.

“He led the line brilliantly, he didn’t leave an ounce of sweat out there.

“He gave everything.”

Proctor’s finish was out of the top drawer, his goal the result of Fleetwood’s relentless pressing inside the Barnsley half.

And after a shocking start to the campaign - which saw Fleetwood go on a run of six consecutive League One defeats and led to the sacking of former manager Graham Alexander - Pressley is delighted to see Town’s players making their own luck.

He said: ”I think the saying goes the harder you work, the luckier you get.

“The reality is that is fact.

“Jamie Proctor worked so hard, he deserved that kind of luck.

“When he got on to it, the finish was top level, he drove at speed and took the ball to his right hand side, it’s a really cultured finish.”

Proctor wasn’t the only man who went the extra mile on Saturday.

Icelandic midfielder Eggert Jonsson has taken some time to settle into life at Fleetwood, but on Saturday the crowd and manager saw just what he’s willing to do for the cause.

Pressley said: “The performance was typified by Eggert Jonsson’s header in the second half.

“He’s 14 yards out, he’s got to go in, he knows he’s going to get hurt but he does it for the team.

“That’s the type of performances we need at this moment in time.

“They have made me exceptionally proud of them.”

After Saturday’s victory Pressley apologised for ‘winning ugly’.

But he insists Town will gradually develop the other side of their game.

“In our predicament the one thing you need to see is that kind of performance,” said Pressley.

“The fast-flowing, attacking football, the creative football will come in time.

“Don’t worry, it will come in time.

“But when I came here I said we had to tighten up fundamentally at the back.

“It’s now two clean-sheets in three games.

“Even at Bramall Lane we only gave up four opportunities in 90 minutes.

“We’re carrying out a lot of defensive work very well and we will improve offensively, of that I’m sure.”