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Fleetwood's display in defeat gives new boss Nicholson hope

Barry Nicholson (right) and David Lucas
Barry Nicholson (right) and David Lucas

Fleetwood Town’s caretaker head coach Barry Nicholson thanked the fans for their support despite the club slipping to their eighth defeat in a row.

READ MORE: Fleetwood Town 1 Portsmouth 2
Town sacked head coach Uwe Rosler on Saturday after a 3-0 defeat at Doncaster but Nicholson, stepping up from his role as first-team coach, could not stop the losing run as Portsmouth left Highbury with a 2-1 win last night.

Nicholson said: “The biggest thing is staying positive. There is no point in getting down about it. You have got to stick together.

“The whole group, even the ones who aren’t involved, the staff and hopefully the fans will stick with us.

“I’ve asked for that and they were good. They got behind us. I’m hopeful that come Saturday things will change.”

A single goal is keeping Fleetwood out of the League One drop zone on goal difference after a strike in each half by Jamal Lowe and Oliver Hawkins did the damage.

Conor McAleny’s 82nd- minute super-strike forTown set up a late fightback.

Nicholson said: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the result again. It is a bit of a kick in the teeth for the lads.

“I just wish they had the same belief they had at the start of the game (for the full 90 minutes).

“I think we started the game well in the first 15-20 minutes. The goal set us back obviously. When you are not playing badly and then you concede a goal, it knocks the stuffing out of you a little bit.

“I can’t complain about the players’ effort. I think they gave me everything and that bit of belief became more and more evident in the last 15-20 minutes.

“We get a goal back and sort of pushed them for the second one but we unfortunately could not get it.”

Speaking on conceding the first goal again, Nicholson added: “It is something we have talked about with the players.

“If we do concede a goal, it is really important that we do not get that slump of confidence and allow teams to get on top of us. We need to react in a better way than we have been doing.

“I thought the reaction was okay. Portsmouth had spells when they had decent possession, and I just wanted our players to be a little bit more aggressive with their positioning and a little bit higher up the pitch to put them under pressure.

“When you lose a goal and have been on the run that we have, then you just sort of take a backward step.

I don’t want that. I want them to be front-footed all the time.”