Fleetwood boss is ready for huge derby day

Fleetwood Town's Shola Ameobi
Fleetwood Town's Shola Ameobi

It may not quite be the Old Firm but former Celtic and Rangers defender Steven Pressley believes the Fylde Coast derby will be just as fiercely contested.

The Fleetwood Town boss has featured in his fair share of derby games during his playing days and knows just what to expect tomorrow when his men welcome Blackpool to the Highbury Stadium.

The two sides are separated by just seven miles and it’s not just local bragging rights which are at stake.

Three points for either side could prove the difference between survival and relegation in League One.

It will be only the second time the two sides have faced each other in a league game and after Blackpool edged the first encounter this season when Nathan Pond’s unfortunate own goal gave Pool a 1-0 win at Bloomfield Road,Town are gunning for revenge.

With Fleetwood just two points above the Seasiders it is a pivotal game and with so much at stake, Pressley is keen to ensure that the pendulum swings in Fleetwood’s favour.

He said: “Without a doubt it is a hugely significant game.

“It means so much to the supporters.

“It does not have the profile of several other derby games but if you ask the supporters, it is a very important game and it means much to them.”

It is the Seasiders’ first trip to Highbury in the league and Neil McDonald’s men could leapfrog Fleetwood if they win the game.

Pressley insisted Town cannot afford to lose control of their own destiny by letting their rivals overtake them.

He said: “It is essential that our destiny remains in our own hands. That has to be the case come 4.50pm tomorrow.

“We cannot lose control of our own destiny.”

Striker Shola Ameobi and defender Danny Andrew are still doubts but could return to training today.

Town undeservedly lost 1-0 at Millwall in midweek and Pressley said Town need to start being more ruthless.

He said: “At times I sound like a broken record but we need to turn good performances into victories and we need to be more clinical.”

And the Town boss has been studying Blackpool ahead of the game.

He said: “They are a very organised side, a side that have had a number of clean sheets and they defend very well.

“They threaten on the counter and that is what we learned when we played them earlier in the season.