Fleetwood skipper prepared to wait for milestone match

Fleetwood Town defender Nathan Pond
Fleetwood Town defender Nathan Pond

It could be a double celebration for Nathan Pond come May as Fleetwood Town’s survival bid could coincide with a milestone 500th game for the club captain.

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The 33-year-old joined Town in 2003 when they were in the North West Counties and, six promotions later, the centre-half has clocked up a 492nd game.

That last match was an emotional one, given the 2-0 win over Northampton Town was dedicated to another club legend, Ted Lowery, who sadly passed away after a short illness aged 87 last Friday.

Pond, who smashed the club all-time appearance record in 2017, is eight games away from 500 with eight games of this League One term to go.

But for Pond ensuring one record – avoiding relegation with Town – is the priority as he says it is up to boss John Sheridan if he meets that milestone this term.

If not, with another year left on his contract, he says it can wait as he bids to steer Fleetwood to safety.

Speaking about if he thinks he can hit the 500 mark, he said: “You better ask the gaffer!

“If I keep fit and keep doing what I’m doing then yeah, I feel fresh, I feel hungry to play football.

“I want to play for Fleetwood and 500 is something I looked at the start of the season but obviously with the squad rotation at the start of the season I didn’t think it would be possible.

“The gaffer picks the team, who will be playing and what is best for the team.

“If I have to miss out, I miss out maybe I do it next season, maybe I don’t.”

That win over Northampton moved Town five points clear of the League One drop zone.

However, Pond is not taking anything for granted and says the next priority is getting a result at AFC Wimbledon on Good Friday.

He said: “We put a statement down that we want to be in this league.

“A third clean sheet in a row and two 2-0 victories against teams in and around us in the league is great for us.

“Wimbledon on Friday are not too far behind us and we need to go there and do exactly what we did on Saturday.

“We need to take each game as it comes.

“Wimbledon is the next game and they are near us in the table.

“We have not got the greatest record against them, I think we have only beaten them once in eight or nine games so I will be happy with a clean sheet and take it from there.

“I’m not even looking at the cushion, we just need to win our next game.

“We don’t need to worry about the five points, we just can’t get complacent.

“Wimbledon are a good side; we need to go there and give it our best.”