Fleetwood boss can’t wait to welcome back Ryan

Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan

Fleetwood manager Steven Pressley is hoping for more good news ahead of the weekend, with Jimmy Ryan working towards a return.

The midfielder has been out of action for the last fortnight with a hamstring injury – a problem Pressley has blamed on overplaying.

But the former Chesterfield man could be available for Saturday’s important home clash against Scunthorpe United.

That would mean Fleetwood being back up to full- strength in central midfield, with Eggert Jonsson and Antoni Sarcevic both having featured in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Port Vale.

“We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” joked Pressley, who has been without as many as five first-team regulars in recent weeks.

“And also I’m hoping we see Jimmy Ryan returning this week.

“We all know what an important player he is for us.

“When you consider we’ve asked David Ball to play in an alien position (in midfield), he’s really handled that side of things exceptionally well.

“But it will be good to have a stronger squad back and hopefully give me a few selection headaches.”

Ball will give Pressley something of a selection conundrum.

The former Manchester City forward has been busy proving his versatility in Ryan’s absence, stepping back into central midfield.

It’s a role the player insists he’s relishing and one he’s proved adept at in two outings.

Ball was one of the stand-out Fleetwood players in a solid performance at Vale Park.

And his comfortable transition comes as no surprise to Pressley, who added: “He’s a truly intelligent player.

“He’s one of these players who you give one instruction on the training ground and you don’t need to re-address it. He takes it all in.

“He sees the game and understands the game really well. He’s a really important member of our squad.”

Town’s injury crisis isn’t entirely over. Skipper Nathan Pond is expected to be out for at least a further five weeks.

Joe Davis, who had to play on in spite of a painful knock in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Barnsley, could also be missing for another month.

But Pressley is pleased with the impact Stephen Jordan has made since coming back into the side, the veteran helping Town to keep back to back clean sheets.

Having looked out of place in a wing-back system, Jordan is at home in Pressley’s back four and is likely to line up alongside Marcus Nilsson against the Iron on Saturday.

Pressley continues to search for new recruits at centre-half and in other areas he believes Town require additional strength to beat the drop.

The Gazette understands Town might bring in an additional full-back before the weekend, with central midfield another position Pressley is keen to add extra cover.

Fleetwood find themselves back in the bottom four courtesy of Chesterfield’s draw with bottom club Colchester on Tuesday.

However, Town will have few complaints over the midweek results. Five clubs in the bottom seven played and they all drew, meaning nobody made a significant move.

It also leaves Town with two games in hand on all the other clubs in that bottom seven bar Oldham.