Fleetwood boss plans storming show against Walsall

Alex Kiwomya (left) on his debut against Doncaster
Alex Kiwomya (left) on his debut against Doncaster

Steven Pressley is looking forward to welcoming Sean O’Driscoll’s Walsall into the teeth aof a Highbury storm tonight.

With strong winds and potentially torrential rain forecast, Pressley is braced to unleash a tempest on the high-flying Saddlers and float his side out of the bottom four.

A 0-0 draw against Doncaster on Saturday saw Fleetwood drop back into the danger zone.

But Pressley insists his group are still brimming with confidence – unbeaten in 2016 and ready to hand O’Driscoll’s promotion hopefuls a bloody nose.

The Town boss said: “Reading the weather reports, it’s going to be a bit of an experience, but we’ve had some really good performances on windy days at Highbury.

“We’ve become accustomed to it and we’re really looking forward to it.

“Yes, Walsall have been in good form of late but we haven’t lost this year. There’s a good feeling around the squad and we believe that with the right performance we’ll win the game.”

Pressley has watched Walsall’s 1-1 draw with Blackpool at the weekend. He believes that not only are the Seasiders on the up, but the West Midlands club are there for the taking.

“The division is a very tough one,” said Pressley. “I’ve said that all along.

“I watched the Blackpool game and there wasn’t much between them.

“Blackpool have improved of late. They had a very good performance against Scunthorpe and again at the weekend.

“But if we reflect on our last game against Walsall – down there in the FA Cup, when I’d just come in – there was very little between the teams.

“The all-important first goal decided the game. The division is very much like that.

“There hasn’t been a team we’ve played who we haven’t felt we could beat and there hasn’t been a game we haven’t felt in control of at some point.”

One thing Pressley will be hoping for is a brighter start from his side, who lacked purpose for the opening hour against Donny.

And having used up one game in hand at Colchester last Tuesday, Pressley knows his side have to start turning single points into three.

He said: “The team are currently brimming with confidence. There’s a lot of positivity in the team.

“It wasn’t only that we weren’t aggressive enough with our passing. We didn’t pass the ball forward at moments I thought we should have and we addressed that at half-time

“But the confidence in the group is very good. We’ve not suffered any defeats of late – it’s just turning the draws into victories.

“We need that belief and a real determination to get the results. Our predicament now is that we have to turn the draws into wins.

“If we were to win our games in hand, we can move up the table by quite a number of places. But we have to win the games to do so.”

Walsall visit Highbury tonight hoping to get a game on after the postponement of the fixture due to heavy rain last month .

The Saddlers were then under the stewardship of a caretaker team, including Richard O’Kelly.

And despite having prepared to face three different Walsall managers in his short tenure at Highbury, Pressley believes little will have changed.

He explained: “Richard O’Kelly was Sean’s assistant for many years. They come from the same school of football.

“Apart from a few tactical changes they play in a very similar way. Perhaps that was the chairman’s thinking with the appointment – that nothing too much needed changing.

“The appointment of Sean allowed the transition to be relatively smooth and results have been quite positive for them.

“Watching the footage, there are only a couple of details that have changed.”

O’Driscoll took over at the Banks’s Stadium a week before Christmas, having previously been assistant manager at Premier League Liverpool.

He also has experience coaching in the England youth set-up but Pressley is only focused on improving his own side and staving off relegation.

“The most important thing is that we don’t panic,” he said. “That’s the important thing –that we keep working on what we are working on.

“We’ve seen real improvements and I think that’s really important to how we move forward.

“We have games in hand that can make a significant difference. We must not panic. We must have a total belief that if we keep moving forward we will be fine.”