All still to play for at Fleetwood Town

There's still hope of a final day showdown against Chesterfield
There's still hope of a final day showdown against Chesterfield

The play-offs are great, but we’d rather avoid the drama.

That’s the thinking of Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley as his club prepares for a potentially season-defining weekend.

Town have just three games to close the gap on third-placed Chesterfield and take their automatic promotion hopes to the final day.

A play-off berth can be booked on Friday at Cheltenham Town if Fleetwood win and York City don’t, the current gap of eight points all but ensuring Town’s dream of League One football won’t end on May 3.

But, in spite of Saturday’s frustrating 2-2 derby draw with Morecambe, the Highbury chairman is still looking up.

“Logically we’d prefer automatic promotion,” he said.

“It saves on the blood pressure.

“The play-offs would boost the club coffers, the income streams.

“It’s always gratefully received and dramatic.

“But it would be better to be automatically promoted.

“Even so to get in the play-offs, to be promoted any way to League One would be a great achievement given where we have come from.”

And the chairman is confident his side could yet put in a surprise finish to leapfrog the Spireites.

“We think we can do very well,” he told The Gazette.

“We’re hitting form at the right time.

“Confidence is high.

“We’ve got to take it one game at a time but there’s no reason we can’t win these games and force our way into the top three.”

It’s a goal he insists is shared with everyone at Fleetwood Town, including manager Graham Alexander, who he has given his continued backing.

Even should that bid fail, the gas and electricity entrepreneur is confident of having the upper hand in the promotion knockout.

Pilley said: “The lads and everyone associated with the club is focused on trying to obtain a spot in that top three.

“It’s out of our hands but it’s going to be very difficult for Chesterfield to win every game.

“If we take our games one at a time and are successful we can be promoted.

“But, with the form we are in I’d fancy us in the play-offs.

“We’re playing that well.”

Everyone at Fleetwood is desperate to take the challenge for third spot into the last day of the campaign, when they face Paul Cook’s Chesterfield at the Proact.

Tickets are already on sale for that clash with the club hoping to sell out their allocation of 1,100 seats.

“It’s going to be a very popular day,” said Pilley

“We hope there’ll be everything to play for.

“Many people remember that game between Brentford and Doncaster last season where the drama was in the very last minute, at one end and then the other.

“It’s likely to be a memorable day and if promotion is achieved by one side or the other on the day then it will be a game everyone at that stadium will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Should the gap come down to two points (Fleetwood’s goal difference is significantly poorer than that of their Derbyshire rivals), it will set up a final day showdown at the ground where Town earlier this year saw their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy run come to an end.

And the chairman insists the fixtures couldn’t have thrown up a more fitting finale.

“It’s bizarre how it’s worked out,” he said.

“It’s potentially a cup final.

“It’s certainly not a given that it will be decided that day but potentially it’s a shoot-out.”

Fleetwood face Wycombe Wanderers at home on Easter monday.