Pond confident ahead of crunch Lions clash

Fleetwood Town's Nathan Pond
Fleetwood Town's Nathan Pond

Fleetwood captain Nathan Pond is confident Town can pick up a vital result to aid their survival quest at Millwall tonight.

Town head to the Den on the back of a five-match unbeaten run and Pond believes Town can tame the high-flying Lions.

Whilst Steven Pressley’s 19th-placed side’s relegation battle continues, Neil Harris’ men are fighting at the other end of the table to secure a play-off spot.

And Pond says Town are aiming to get a win that will take them five points clear of the drop zone and local rivals Blackpool.

The experienced centre-back says they head to the New Den knowing exactly what to expect and full of confidence after beating them 2-1 at Highbury in November.

He said: “We played Millwall earlier in the season at home and we beat them.

“They are a very good side, a very physical side, quite direct and the players at the moment are on a good run.

“It is a night game and a long journey for us, it will be difficult but we will see what we can do.

“It is a very hostile place – everyone knows that. They are in a good vein of form at the moment so the crowd will be up and they need to win to cement a play-off place or even nick the automatic spot.

“We need to win with our situation, so it is going to be a good game.”

Millwall’s strike force of Lee Gregory and Steve Morrison have netted 33 times between them in the league.

Gregory came off the bench in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Coventry despite not training all week.

Millwall boss Harris claimed that if Gregory plays any part this evening, it will be a ‘bonus’. Pond said the Cod Army head into the game fully prepared and ready meet whatever attacking threat they may face.

He said: “We aren’t going to give them any special treatment, there are a lot of good strikers in this league and attacking players.

“So we just need to play as a team, defend as a team, attack as a team and that should get us over the line.

“I’m confident of a result, we just need to go there, play our normal game, some quick attacking football. It will be a bigger pitch but like I say the crowd will be up, but we have just got to go out there and try and get three points.”

Apart from Blackpool all of Town’s survival rivals are all in action tonight too.

And with just four games left of the season, Pond insists the club’s League One destiny is still in their own hands.

He said: “We have got to take each game as it comes.

“Obviously we will look at the table to see the situation and how other results go but it is still in our hands.

“We need to look after our own business and not rely on other teams.

“We just need to do what we need to do and it should get us over the line.”

Pond has played three games in quick succession after returning to the side in the 2-0 home win over Peterborough.

He missed a chunk of 2016 due to a thigh injury but nothing is going to stop him from getting out on the pitch and helping the team maintain their League One status.

He said: “I’m feeling fine, I got a bit tired towards the end of the Oldham game.

“It has been three games in quick succession for me but I’m feeling strong.

“Nothing is going to stop me getting out there except a really bad injury and, touch wood, I don’t have any more this season.

“I have had my fair share and I just want to be out there with the lads and get us over the finish line.”

Pond tried in vain to stop Oldham’s Liam Kelly cancelling out Stefan Scougall’s first goal on Saturday but he could not stop the ball going over the line.

The 1-1 draw means Fleetwood are still a point behind the Latics and Pond believes the goal could have been avoided.

He said: “I was close to it but it was just one of those things.

“It was disappointing not take all three points after taking the lead but credit to Oldham they put us under a lot pressure. I think the goal could have been avoided in the end, just a lack of communication and character.”