`

Eastham injury verdict boosts Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town defender Ash Eastham
Fleetwood Town defender Ash Eastham

Fleetwood Town have positive news on the injury front about defender Ash Eastham, writes ROSIE SWARBRICK.

The 26-year-old hobbled off 15 minutes into Town’s 0-0, FA Cup draw with Leicester City last Saturday.

Eastham is a doubt for this afternoon’s match at Southend United but assistant manager Rob Kelly says any comeback is a case of when rather than if.

He said: “Ash is one of our more sensible and experienced players.

“What he did was he got it early and so there is an outside chance for this weekend but we are talking days rather than weeks.”

That injury to Eastham paved the way for Nathan Pond to face the recent Premier League winners.

Pond took his chance last weekend with the 33-year-old praised by head coach Uwe Rosler for the manner in which he handled being out of the starting line-up.

He said: “I think it was Nathan’s best performance against Leicester.

“It was his best performance for a while.

“I think we needed him to come on at that level, he gave us a great leadership out there.

“He played no-nonsense football.

“He was very strong in his defensive play, very strong on the ball and I am very happy for Pondy because for him it was quite hard to not play week in, week out because he is used to that.

“He is a very professional person, he is our captain, he knows his responsibility and he lives up to it.”

Town have more positive news on the injury front too with Bobby Grant (knee) and Conor McAleny (ankle) both starting and getting more than an hour of action in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win against Bury.