Pressley: Key clash is not a ‘defining’ tie

Stephen Pressley
Stephen Pressley

Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley says the outcome of tomorrow’s clash against fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic will not define Town’s season.

Town are 19th in the League One table, one point above the relegation zone with five games to go, whilst John Sheridan’s Oldham side have recently stormed out of the bottom four and sit one point above Pressley’s men in 18th.

And Pressley’s aim is to pick up 15 points from their final five matches.

He said: “There is no hiding that it is a very significant game I’m not going to try and kid people.

“Of course it is a hugely significant game, it won’t be a defining game but it will be a very significant game.

“It is a pivotal game in our quest for survival, no doubt about that, but if we were to not get the correct result we are not out of it.

“But we have to concentrate and pick up the maximum points between now and the end of the season.”

Fleetwood host fellow relegation threatened side’s Oldham, Blackpool and Crewe in their final three home games with away trips to Millwall and Walsall sandwiched in-between.

Pressley’s men have a fine home record and have only lost six at Highbury in the league all season.

The Town boss believes their home form will be crucial and says that confidence is high, and he backed his men to also pick up points on the road.

He said: “The home games will be very crucial and the away games as well because I believe we can win on our travels too. We are on a four-game unbeaten run and the confidence is high but there is a lot of work today between now and the end of the season.

“Our home form has been generally good and they will be significant games but so will our away games.

“I think that all five games will be significant until now and the end of the season.”

Pressley says a lot of hard work needs to go into the final few weeks of the season as they enter a highly important week in their survival quest.

Town face struggling Oldham, mid-table Millwall on Tuesday night and on Saturday week Blackpool, who are currently just a point blow them and occupy the final relegation spot.

Pressley says it is a highly significant week but his men will be prepared to fight until the final day – if their fate is not sealed before May 8.

He said: “There is a lot of work still to be done. If it has to go to the last game of the season then we will be prepared for that. We just have to prepare as we always prepare.”

“I would not prepare for this game against Oldham any different because the reality of this situation is that we prepare to win every week.

“I prepare my players to win every week and I prepare my players to win every week so nothing changes in that.

“Of course there is external pressure but we can’t focus on that we can only focus on doing what we do on a daily and weekly basis and that is to win games of football .”

As Town’s injury crisis has abated in recent weeks with only full-back Bob Harris, striker Shola Ameobi and defender Joe Davis doubts for tomorrow’s game their opponents are facing their own fitness troubles (see page 44 for more details).

Pressley watched the Latics’ 2-1 defeat at Barnsley on Tuesday night and says that regardless of injuries whatever team Sheridan puts out will be a fierce test,

He said: “Oldham have been a little bit unfortunate (with injuries)

“But looking at the players that came in, they functioned in a very similar manner.

“They are well organised, well drilled and they all understand what is required to play for John’s type of team.

“He has done a really good job and regardless of what players turn out for Oldham the one thing that I can be absolutely sure of is that there will be a very difficult opponent.

“(On Tuesday night) Oldham were what I expected.

“I also watched them a number of weeks ago against Blackpool and they are a really hard working team, a really well organised team.

“They have a really good spirit about them and their recent results certainly suggest that.

“So, like in our recent games, we are going to have to be at the top of our game to get a result.

“I feel if we do play at the top of our game we can certainly get that all important win.”