Bell has Premier potential says Fleetwood boss

Amari'i Bell is a consistent cross away from Premier League potential, insists boss Steven Pressley.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:00 am
Amari'i Bell

The Fleetwood full-back returned to the side for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Coventry, where Pressley relied on his pace to shackle former Blackpool man Jacob Murphy.

Bell rewarded his manager with his best performance this season and Pressley believes the 21-year-old is finally starting to show his potential.

The Town boss said: “With his assets, I think Amari’i Bell can play at the top level.

“He’s so athletic, so quick. He’s brilliant one-to-one but the one area he must improve is his crossing.

“If he does that, we know we’ve got a very good player on our hands. He played one ball on Saturday right across the box. If he can be more consistent with that, we’ve got a great prospect.”

Bell is expected to get the nod ahead of new signing Bob Harris to face Gillingham tonight at Highbury, where Town hope to avenge a 5-1 thrashing in September.

But Pressley continues to struggle for numbers at the back, though that could improve in time for Saturday’s visit of Sheffield United.

“There’s no change from the weekend,” Pressley said. “Conor McLaughlin should be available on Saturday, which is encouraging, and Nathan Pond won’t be far behind him. I think Tuesday comes too soon for both players.

“Stephen Jordan is a bit further away, so is Tyler Forbes. We’re still around the same levels of availability as we were for Coventry.”

Antoni Sarcevic is likely to be available despite being taken off 15 minutes before the end of Saturday’s game.

The midfielder was withdrawn as a precaution, as Pressley explained.

“He was struggling a little bit with injury. I asked him five minutes before coming off if he was OK and he said to give it a little time. He was still tight in the area of concern.

“I didn’t want to take any risk. I took him off and he should be available.”

The big choice for Pressley comes up top, with Shola Ameobi likely to be fit to start in the no.10 roll, a position matchwinner David Ball made his own at the weekend.

“I’ve got a number of choices to make,” admitted Pressley. “Ball’s performance on Saturday was top, top level.

“I’ve said numerous times he’s one of the most intelligent footballers I’ve worked with. He’s a really clever player.

“It’s also an area where consistency has not been right, and we need to look at that with the rotation of the group and get that right blend.”