Fleetwood’s Sarcevic loves leading role

Antoni Sarcevic celebrates his goal at Bury
Antoni Sarcevic celebrates his goal at Bury

Antoni Sarcevic is feeling the pride of leading Fleetwood Town to their first victory of the season – and is now targeting three vital points at home.

Colchester United are the visitors to Highbury this afternoon, Fleetwood hoping to pick up where they left off on Tuesday at Bury.

Town scored four at Gigg Lane – a sign, according to boss Graham Alexander, of their desire to play more expansive, attacking football.

Captain Sarcevic was at the heart of the action, setting up Fleetwood’s third and scoring the fourth from the penalty spot.

And he was delighted to see Town get the goalscoring monkey off their back, having drawn a blank in two of their opening three games.

He said: “It had been frustrating because our performances deserved better.

“The result on Tuesday was everything we’ve deserved. We’d just been lacking the goals. The boys were class at Bury.”

Colchester did a vital double over Fleetwood last season to help stave off relegation.

Sarcevic believes Town have the quality to change that record but knows only hard work will guarantee three points.

He said: “We expect to get a result but I’m not taking anything for granted because it’s tough league and squads have improved.

“We’ll just go in with the confidence from Tuesday and the same hard work. Hopefully that will be enough.”

Sarcevic’s spot-kick, after Lyle Della-Verde was pushed, sealed the 4-3 win over the Shakers.

And the midfielder, in his third season of League football, made it clear penalties were his domain.

“I’m always going to be on the penalties,” he said. “In the end it was a vital goal.”

For Sarcevic, the pride of finding the net to ensure a three-point haul was only trumped by his first victory wearing the armband – a role he’s likely to hold for some time, given Nathan Pond’s ankle injury.

“I’ve been skipper a few times but never got that win,” he said. “It was great to get it, a great feeling. Now on to the next one!”

Sarcevic may be only 23 but he seems to have taken the pressure of captaincy in his stride.

And he’s backed more of Graham Alexander’s young side to push on, not least 19-year-old Tyler Forbes, who bagged his first ever League One goal at Bury.

“Tyler was here last year. He’s not been thrown in at the deep end,” said Sarcevic.

“He was very good at Bury, only coming in on the Monday because of Eggert’s (Jonsson) injury. He’s done a brilliant job.”

Fleetwood Town have a new international call-up from their squad.

Young striker Declan McManus is to link up with Scotland’s under-21 side which will face Northern Ireland in a European Championship qualifier next month.

The match takes place on September 5 - a day after Northern Ireland’s senior squad face the Faroe Islands hoping to continue their push for a place in Euro 2016.

Town’s Conor McLaughlin is almost certain to be in Michael O’Neill’s squad.