Godswill’s desire is a godsend for Fleetwood

Godswill Ekpolo
Godswill Ekpolo

Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler was pleased with ex-Barcelona youngster Godswill Ekpolo’s “baptism of fire” at Southport.

Town snapped up the 21-year-old defender on an initial short-term deal just over an hour before kick-off and he went straight into the starting line-up for the goalless FA Cup first-round tie.

Head coach Rosler says the Nigerian, who captained Barce’s Under-21s, showed his desire to earn a contract, slotting in at right-back with Conor McLaughlin on international duty with Northern Ireland.

Rosler said: “It was a baptism of fire. The boy has been with us for three or four weeks and played a couple of development games, obviously nowhere near the intensity he faced at Southport.

“I was nervous in the first half, when he was on a yellow card so early, but the boy did very well, especially in the second half.

“He stood out all game. Coming in in those circumstances and playing the way he did, I am more than happy.

“The boy was so keen. He wanted to come to us and what he has shown around the place, with his appetite and desire, gave us the confidence to sign him and play him immediately.”

Godswill is expected to feature again at Carlisle tonight in Town’s Checkatrade Trophy group decider.

It is the second of four games in nine days for Fleetwood, following the confirmation of the FA Cup replay at Highbury for next Tuesday.

And Rosler admits the hectic schedule is difficult for his squad, especially as the Checkatrade Trophy’s rules stipulate that at least five members of tonight’s team must have featured at Southport just 48 hours earlier.

Rosler said: “There are certain rules that you can’t rest the whole team, so we need to get on the bottom of it.

“But it is very difficult for us. It is not only the games, it is the travelling and the focusing, but that is the way it is.

“We are not complaining. We get on with it. We think game to game and the next game is at Carlisle.” Tonight’s opponents Carlisle are already through to the knockout stages of the tournament after winning both previous matches.

Fleetwood will join them if they win tonight at Brunton Park.

Should Town fail to win, Oldham would go through as group runners-up after beating Blackburn U21 on penalties last night.