Town battle of self-belief

Wrexham v Fleetwood'Steve McNulty jumps for a header
Wrexham v Fleetwood'Steve McNulty jumps for a header

FLEETWOOD Town face a challenge to restore lost confidence this week. Players and management agree that self-belief has taken a dip since Monday’s defeat at Wrexham left the Highbury club with one point from their last three Conference games and one goal to show for their last five.

Assistant boss Craig Madden admits that confidence “can soon ebb away from you”, and he and manager Micky Mellon are determined to prevent that happening ahead of Saturday’s trip to Kettering.

Madden said: “We need to tray to get some confidence back in the players because we looked to be lacking. We need to take a long hard look at ourselves – players management and staff.

“We were looking for the players to stand up and show us something at Wrexham, but we went missing a bit. We have a lot of work to do over next few days.”

One player who did his utmost to stand up and be counted was substitute Keith Briggs, whose second-half introduction along-

side Jamie Milligan in midfield triggered Town’s best spell of the game at the Racecourse.

But Briggs acknowledged Town’s top problem at present: “We need to believe a bit more and rally again,” he said. “We have great ability in this team but we have to drag it out of us.”

The former Kidderminster skipper was pleased to get a second chance on Monday, adding: “I was very disappointed with my performance against Barrow.

“I didn’t take my chance in that game but I got another. I tried to get on the ball at Wrexham, get us playing and give us that bit of a spark. Hopefully the gaffer has noticed.

“He just told me to try to get us ticking and I did my best, but it’s very difficult when the team is down.

“I thought we started the second half really well but we needed to score and then we fell for the sucker punch.

“Had we got the goal I think we’d have gone on to win. Even though we haven’t played well, a goal would have given us a lift but it was’nt to be. The lads’ heads dropped after their second.”

Madden agreed that Briggs helped solidify a midfield he felt had been “overrun” before half-time, though Town’s No.2 says the problems lie elsewhere.

“Again we are commiting suicide and not defending well. You can’t fall asleep at a throw-in. It’s happening too often and we will have to address it.

“They probably played better than us in the first half but I thought we had the better opportunities to score.

“We had three or four good chances we could have put away if we’d been more clinical or showed more composure.”

Briggs thinks there are no problems that a win at Kettering can’t solve. He added: “We have to stick together, work hard as a team and get the three points we need to kickstart our season.”