No time to take eye off the Ball

David Ball
David Ball

STRIKER David Ball is taking nothing for granted when it comes to keeping the coverted status of Fleetwood Town’s first-choice striker.

Two goals in three games have done nothing to harm Ball’s cause, but the 22-year-old is only too aware of the talent waiting in the wings.

The former Manchester City youngster started the first two games of the season for Town, fixtures in which Fleetwood drew a blank in front of goal.

But having been handed and taken his chance against Barnet, the striker is keen to hang on to his place in the side.

Ball said: “It’s been really good starting games and scoring goals.

“But you know you have to keep it up because there are people ready to come in if you’re not getting goals.

“The club have got some good strikers and that keeps you on your toes.

“After Bradford it was frustrating. I had to sit out four or five games when I didn’t even get on as a substitute. It’s something I’ve not been used to.

“So to get into the side and score a couple of goals has been fantastic.”

Among those currently behind Ball in the pecking order are Jon Parkin and Steven Gillespie, something the striker is only too aware of.

He said: “With Gilly, Parky and Andy Mangan, when he’s fit, there are some very good footballers in there.

“You know that if you’re performing and scoring goals you’re going to be in the side.

“That’s how the manager works, so it’s just a case of trying to keep going and keep the others out.”

Ball scored Fleetwood’s opener at Cheltenham, where Junior Brown secured a point with a late second.

And Ball is full of praise for the winger, who is Town’s leading scorer with five.

He said: “Junior’s in fantastic form. He’s one of those people who are fantastic for a striker to play with.

“He beats his man and gets the ball straight into the box, which is what you want. On Saturday he did just that and I got my goal.

“It came back off the keeper and I managed to get a head on it. The referee said it had gone in.

“Both goals might have been scrappy but it was a great result in what we knew was going to be a difficult game.”

Town were forced to make an early defensive switch for their trip to the south west, when skipper Steve McNulty had to pull out injured after 15 minutes.

But Ball believes the way Fleetwood reshuffled at the back and came back to earn a point is a sign of their strength in depth.

He said: “These things are going to happen but we’ve got a good squad.

“Macca is a big loss but we had people there who could come in and do the job.

“Alan Goodall’s come into the side and ended up playing at centre-half.

“But in the end we came away with a point and could have got all three.

“It’s good to see that players can come in and do the job when needed.”

With Fleetwood currently third in League Two, Ball believes there’s plenty more to come from the Cod Army.

He said: “We’ve shown we can adapt and perform against sides who like to play football and those who can be more physical.

“It was one of those on Saturday but we showed we’re up to it.

“We’re a good, passionate team. The spirit in the dressing room is fantastic.

“I wanted to come to a club that was going places. Everyone believes we can carry this on and be up there at the end of the season.”