Fleetwood hero Cairns credits coach for wonder saves
He is the man of the moment after THAT triple save but Fleetwood shot-stopper Alex Cairns was quick to bat away the praise in the direction of his mentor, Town goalkeeping coach David Lucas.
Just like his quick-fire reflexes to thwart Aaron Pierre twice and Billy Waters from close-range within a few heart-stopping seconds in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Northampton, Cairns was swift to deflect praise towards Lucas for helping him to reach his current level.
What a difference a year has made for the 24-year-old, who joined Town from Rotherham last summer with only one substitute appearance under his belt for boyhood club Leeds in a 5-0 drubbing by Blackpool in 2011.
He made his first-ever League start against former club Chesterfield in October, keeping the first of 16 clean sheets to boost Town’s promotion push.
Cairns has continued where he left off with back-to-back clean sheets in League One this season.
And that triple save at Sixfields shows just why Premier League club West Ham were reportedly sniffing before he penned a deal that will keep him at Highbury until at least 2021.
However, the humble Yorkshireman heaped praise on Lucas, who might himself be a man in demand given the recent departure of goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly from his old club Preston.
Cairns said: “I have to try to save every shot that comes and luckily I was behind that.
“Big credit to Dave Lucas on the training pitch. He works on every aspect of my game and he has helped me become what I aim at the minute.”
After Cairns’ 44th-minute heroics, Devante Cole came off the bench to net the winner.
And Cairns says Town will not take their foot off the gas as they prepare for another test at home to AFC Wimbledon this Saturday.
He said: “Not every game is going to be pretty and the way we want to play – we have to realise it is going to be a battle.
“Northampton were good on Saturday. They worked us hard but we know we have plenty of players who can come on and make an impact.
“Big credit to Devante and Aiden (O’Neill, fellow sub) because they created the goal for us. It was a great win.
“My job is simple – keep the ball out of the net. Every player knows what they have to do. Everyone puts a shift in. I feel we defend well as a team and attack well as a team, and we have got to keep that going now.”