‘Massive’ win takes the pressure off Town

Fleetwood Town's David Ball celebrates scoring his side's third goal
Fleetwood Town's David Ball celebrates scoring his side's third goal

Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler says the ‘massive’ 3-1 win over Oxford has taken the pressure off his promotion-chasing side with five more games to go.

Rosler’s men moved two points closer to his 74-point target thanks to a Bobby Grant penalty, Ash Eastham’s first ever goal for the club and another ruthless finish from top-scorer David Ball.

Oxford had pulled level just minutes after Grant opened the scoring with Curtis Nelson capitalising on a scramble from a corner but clinical Town ensured the defeated Checkatrade Trophy finalists U’s late push for the play-offs is now in tatters.

Town moved six points clear of seventh-placed Millwall and reduced the gap on second-placed Bolton to seven after bouncing back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Swindon to keep their five-month unbeaten run on the road intact.

And Rosler says it showed huge mental strength – especially after Millwall’s 2-1 win over Shrewsbury on Tuesday – as they edged closer to securing a play-off spot.

But he again stressed that the job is not yet complete.

He said: “I think it takes a little bit the pressure off us, we have a very young team and how they mentally approached that – especially after Tuesday’s results, Millwall winning – I’m very pleased.

“That shows how far we have come.

“We still need to get two, maybe three points to be absolutely sure in five games’ time but we are now in a very good position.

“It was very important but we are not yet over the line.

“I think it was a massive win, it was absolutely crucial that we bounced back and we set the marker again.

“For us it will get better in the weeks to come because we get players back on the football field.

“To win that game has put us in a very good position to reach our target.

“Like I always said April is the most important month of the year, this month is not about playing nice football it is about getting points, getting where you want to be – where you have to be.”

Rosler had shifted formation from his standard 3-5-2 to a 4-1-4-1 and he was pleased too with the substitutions of George Glendon, Jack Sowerby and skipper Nathan Pond making his first appearance since January off the bench.

And he hailed Amari’i Bell who stepped up from left wing-back to a left-wing role and had a hand in the first two Town goals.

He said: “Amari’i was outstanding – we released him from his defensive duties and he caused all sorts of problems.”