Fleetwood hoping for Conor comeback

Conor McLaughlin
Conor McLaughlin

Right-back Conor McLaughlin faces a late fitness test ahead of Fleetwood’s home clash with Sheffield United.

The Northern Ireland international twisted a knee in Town’s 2-1 win over Scunthorpe last month and Town hope he will be able to return tomorrow.

Midfielder Antoni Sarcevic (groin) was withdrawn at half-time in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Gillingham and is a doubt for tomorrow.

With 13 games to go and a relegation battle on their hands, manager Steven Pressley’s no.2 Neil MacFarlane says it is important to keep Sarcevic fit.

MacFarlane said: “The gaffer has been on record saying he wouldn’t swap any of the midfield three (Sarcevic, Jimmy Ryan and Eggert Jónsson) for anyone else in the league and I’m of the same opinion.

“The work we have done with the midfield this season has really paid off, and when they are at their optimum they are a real credit to themselves and the team. It is important to have them fully fit until the end of the season.

“We are hoping Conor is going to make the weekend but we will know more today.”

Three wins in four games have lifted Town four points clear of the drop zone and MacFarlane says it is essential to keep racking up points.

He hopes the club can emulate Barnsley, who went on a nine-match unbeaten run after Christmas and are now knocking on the door of the play-offs. He said: “We need to keep striving to get as many points on the board as early as we can.

“Playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday gives you the opportunity to pick up nine points and that is massive in this league. Barnsley did that and picked up point after point.

“It took them well clear of the relegation zone and they now have other ambitions, so it is important for that we continue the momentum.

“Having no midweek game next week will hopefully give us a chance to get a fully fit squad ready to tackle the last 12 games.”

MacFarlane also praised on-loan Bristol City player Wes Burns, who has scored in the last two games.

He added: “Wes has done great. He got his goal at Coventry and he’s claiming another one from the corner against Gillingham. I think the wind had something to do with it but it was good.

“He is on a bit of a roll and it is really important that we keep making chances and converting them because our defensive record has been exceptional.”

If we can improve on the scoring side we will have a really good team.”