FLEETWOOD Town travel to AFC Telford tomorrow with manager Micky Mellon warning: “Everyone in the Conference is on our case.”
But Mellon says he would not have it any other way.
The manager of the league leaders explained: “The fact that we are the team to beat is great because it just shows how far we have come as a club.
“When Mansfield scored the equaliser against us in stoppage time on Tuesday, their players were euphoric and seeing a reaction like that it was hard to take it in.
“I never thought I would see the day that we would go to a massive club like Mansfield with all their tradition and see their players so happy to get a point at home against Fleetwood.
“Obviously, there was great disappointment that we conceded a goal so late in the game.
“But for 93 minutes, 58 seconds we played some really good football – it was just that couple of seconds that we switched off that cost us.
“Mansfield are a strong, physical side, and it was a massive point to get – like Manchester United going to Chelsea and getting a draw, I am sure they would be happy with that.
“Mansfield have only lost one match less than Wrexham so far this season.”
While Fleetwood are at New Bucks Head tomorrow, Wrexham are without a fixture as their scheduled opponents Newport are in FA Trophy action.
That means that by 5pm tomorrow night, Fleetwood will have played two matches more than their fierce rivals.
Currently they are three points clear of Andy Morrell’s Wrexham, with a match in hand.
The two clubs have an identical goal difference of +59, a measure of how much of a neck-and-neck race it has been.
Though Andy Sinton’s Telford are only 15th in the table, Fleetwood will need little reminding of their potential.
In September in the corresponding fixture at Highbury, Telford raced into a 2-0 lead, and it was only late on that the home side secured a 2-2 draw.
Mellon said: “Telford are a good football club with a good manager and another tough game – we are Fleetwood and everyone wants to beat us.”
Telford signalled that they were in fine form when they defeated Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 on Tuesday.
Telford will include Bristol City winger Marlon Jackson, who has just re-joined the Conference side on a month’s loan.
So far this season only three teams – Barrow, Wrexham and Newport – have managed to beat Fleetwood.
Mellon was mulling over his selection for the trip to Telford, reporting that there were only various ‘bumps and bruises’ to consider, other than long-term injuries.
However, Jamie Milligan has again been ruled out with a back injury.
“And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better,” Mellon said.
n FLEETWOOD striker Jamie Vardy continues to be the subject of reports linking him to big clubs.
Premier League side West Bromwich Albion are the latest side to be interested, according to press coverage.
Mellon said: “There has not been a morsel (of interest) so far, and I am thinking no further ahead than the Telford match.
“In any case, nothing can happen until the end of the season.”
Meantime, the Fleetwood manager has explained the reasoning behind the decision to allow Paul Edwards to join his old club Barrow on loan.
He said: “Paul needs to plays to play football and he wasn’t getting that here.”
Edwards also had a period on loan at Mansfield earlier in the campaign - he has not managed to break into the Fleetwood side on a regular basis.
n TWO Fleetwood matches will be shown back-to-back on satellite television early next month.
The Premier Sports channel has already booked what could be the title decider with Wrexham on April 10, and now the home clash with Lincoln will be shown, the fixture being brought forward 24 hours to the 13th.
Mellon said: “It just shows the interest that the TV companies are showing in Fleetwood.”