Fleetwood boss takes positives from ‘fastest from three in league’

Fleetwood debutant Devante Cole
Fleetwood debutant Devante Cole

Steven Pressley took comfort in Fleetwood Town’s unbeaten start to 2016 after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Doncaster Rovers at Highbury.

Town are unbeaten in four since the turn of the year, but two points from six over the past week have seen them slip back into the League One relegation zone.

They were sluggish out of the traps against Donny, taking more than an hour to come alive.

Before then they rode their luck on occasions, on-loan Sunderland striker Lynden Gooch forcing a fingertip save from Chris Maxwell and Andrew Williams almost taking advantage of a mix-up between the Fleetwood keeper and centre half Joe Davis.

It took the introduction of new boys Alex Kiwomya and Devante Cole to breathe life into Town, whose late rally nearly yielded three points.

Cole was inches away from connecting with a Kiwomya cross at the back-post and Jimmy Ryan went closer still with a 20-yard piledriver which cannoned back off the woodwork.

Manager Pressley said: “In terms of our application and the desire of our players, and our attempts to play the right type of football, I think we were excellent.

“I’m really disappointed we didn’t come away with three points.

“In the first half we were a little bit tentative. We didn’t take the ball and play with purpose, get forward or break their lines.

“But second half we were much better and we had a few really good chances.

“Jimmy Ryan’s hit the bar. Antoni Sarcevic had a couple of really good chances and Devante Cole’s had one at the back post late on. All in all, I think we deserved the points.”

Fleetwood are steadily improving under Pressley – certainly becoming a tougher side to beat – but they are yet to discover the confidence in front of goal which will haul them out of trouble.

It’s proving frustrating for the manager, who added: “We’re unbeaten in four in 2016 but we’ve drawn three. Two of the three I believe we should have won.

“That’s a disappointment but there’s a real determination and spirit in the group.

“If we keep doing the right thing I’m sure we’ll start winning games.”

Pressley will have been pleased with the impact made by Cole and Kiwomya.

Cole signed on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Bradford on Friday and is yet to do a full day’s training with his new club.

Jamie Proctor went to Bradford on loan as part of the deal and won the Bantams a point with his equaliser at Port Vale on Saturday.

Kiwomya, who joined on a month’s loan from Chelsea, had one day’s preparation and Pressley is hoping to see more from his latest recruits.

“There are really encouraging signs, if we get the right blend” he said.“It was good to have David Henen back too (for his first game since Boxing Day).

“He’s not trained enough in the past three weeks, so in terms of his fitness 60 minutes was enough for him.

“But we’ve got the three of them on board. We’ve got real attacking options and that pleases me.

“From several weeks ago, when we had really limited options off the bench, we now have much better options. As a game progresses I have the ability to change things.”

And the Fleetwood manager knows he has a potentially devastating combination on his hands.

“I was taking to the chairman and said we’ve probably got the fastest front three in the Football League. That’s what I think is exciting.

“You saw it second half – every transition we looked quick on the counter.

“I really like that kind of football. Yes, we want to pass the ball but we really want to counter teams with pace.”