Fleetwood boss Pressley keen to get defenders back ahead of Burton clash
Three star players could return to alleviate Fleetwood Town boss Steven Pressley's injury woes at Burton Albion on Saturday.
Town suffered two more injury blows in the 2-2 Higbury draw with Sheffield United last weekend, when centre-back Joe Davis picked up a head wound and his replacement Jack Sowerby a knee injury.
Pressley says Davis received stitches after a clash of heads in the box but revealed the defender is OK, though Sowerby looks to be out of action for some time.
Now the Town boss is hopeful that defenders Nathan Pond and Conor McLaughlin as well as midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who picked up a groin strain in last week’s 2-1 victory over Gillingham, will be in contention to face League One leaders Burton.
Pressley said: “We’ve got a number of injuries but hopefully this week we will see them starting to return to the field. Joe is OK but he was a little bit dizzy after the contact. He has received a number of stitches.
“I hope as well that Sarcevic will be available for Saturday.”
Pressley’s men were so close to beating United and making it three wins in three for the first time since 2014 only for a controversial last- gasp Che Adams penalty to halt Town’s winning streak.
But Fleetwood did pick up seven points from a possible nine and have built a five-point cushion above the drop zone.
With 12 games left of the season and a relegation battle on their hands, Pressley gave his team a few days off after the draw with the Blades to recharge their batteries and prepare for the crucial closing weeks of the season.
He said: “We have given the players a number of days off because we go into another really hectic period next week and we want to be recharged physically and mentally.
“Hopefully the players can switch off from football for a couple of days.”
Pressley hailed his players for adapting once again and slotting into unfamiliar positions against the Blades after the injuries to Sowerby and Davies.
He said: “It takes a lot for Joe not to return to the pitch, so it was obviously a big moment in the game because we had to rejig again, but credit to my players for finding a way.
“We are certainly running short of defender’s. We had to ask midfielder Victor Nirennold to play at right-back again against Sheffield United and in the end we had to play Eggert Jonsson in defence after Joe went off.
“We also had to deal again with Sowerby getting injured.
“I had to ask David Ball to play in a midfield position (because of Sarcevic’s injury), so considering what we had to do and what we had to endure, I’m so proud of the players’ performances.”
Unsung hero Jonsson played alongside Marcus Nilsson at the back for more than 50 minutes on Saturday after Davis’ head knock.
Pressley praised the midfielder for his display but says he was deeply disappointed that his men did not get the three points they deserved.
He said: “Eggert has been a star since I have come here. I think his level of performance has been brilliant and I think again he provided us with a great performance.
“I was just disappointed we didn’t win the game. My team put in such a mammoth effort, especially with the week that we’d had and what we had to put into the other two games.
“I’m disappointed so much for the players because I know how much it would have meant for them to get a win over Sheffield.”
And defender Nilsson echoed his boss’ sentiments about Jonsson. He said: “Eggert played really well. He is a real fighter.
“He can play in the midfield or at the back and I think he can even play as a striker. He really is an all-rounder.”
Nilsson is keen to continue Town’s good form against Burton on Saturday and hopes Pond is back in action.
He said: “Pondy is a great leader for us and we need every player we can get back, bac, specially Pondy.
“We have got a good run going. We have picked up a lot of points recently and the team is doing well. We just want to play games and win.”