FLEETWOOD Town skipper Steve McNulty has warned play-off rivals Wimbledon they would be “stupid” to think their semi-final was already won despite the Londoners’ 2-0 first-leg win at Highbury.
Goals either side of half-time put Wimbledon in a very strong position going into Wednesday’s second leg at Kingsmeadow.
But centre-half McNulty warned that Town are still confident of staging a remarkable comeback to clinch a place in the final at Manchester City.
McNulty said: “We are obviously disappointed with Friday’s result but it is only half-time.
“We will take as many positives out of the game as we can. We are still in the tie and Wimbledon would be stupid to think it’s over.
“They are a good side who didn’t finish second in the table for no reason. They were the better team on the night but we have plenty of talent too.”
The 27-year-old admitted that he and his fellow defenders had to take responsibility for Wimbledon’s breakthrough goal before the interval.
He added: “It was a mix-up at the back and we didn’t take control of the situation. It’s unfortunate it happened in a big game but we have to put that behind us.
“We did create chances which we didn’t put away, but we have a great spirit and we will always keep fighting.
“If we thought we couldn’t get through there would be no point going down to their place. We will regroup for Wednesday.”
McNulty was especially disappointed that Town could not get the result they craved in front of a record Highbury crowd of over 4,000.
He added: “We wanted them to turn up in their numbers and they did. They have backed us all season but Friday was a special night.”
Man of the match Junior Brown said he did his utmost to treat Friday’s showdown like any other game, despite the electric atmosphere, and he shares his skipper’s faith that the cause is far from lost.
The left-back said: “We were disappointed to lose in the manner that we did but 2-0 is a difficult score for them. If we get an early goal in the second leg they will be under a lot of pressure.
“The lads will pick themselves up and we know we are good enough to beat them at their place, so we will go for it.”
Brown said Wimbledon’s style suited his game down to the ground.
“They play without much width, so it gives me and Beels (right-back Shaun Beeley) chances to push forward and express ourselves.
“We all believe we can still do it and I’m sure the fans do too.”
Interviews: DAVID MITCHELL