He’s played in the Premier League and Championship, and now Fleetwood Town’s Dean Marney stressed the importance of his first goal in League One.
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The 34-year-old midfielder’s first Town goal set Joey Barton’s side on their way to Tuesday’s 3-0 home win over Coventry City.
Marney joined Fleetwood in the summer after eight seasons at Burnley but has struggled with groin injuries after a limited pre-season.
But having returned to full fitness, Marney made his first league appearance for more than a month on Tuesday and broke the deadlock in the 54th minute to set Town up for victory.
Having watched on as Fleetwood lost 2-1 at Plymouth on Saturday, the midfielder says the first goal in any game is key in this tight division.
Marney, whose first goal came on his 12th Town appearance, said: “The margins are so tight in this division.
“Look at the game on Saturday. For that first half- hour we were the better team. We just didn’t get that goal and it is all about that first goal in this league.
“I think nine times out of 10 you go on to win the game if you score first.
“We did not get it at the weekend but luckily enough we got it on Tuesday and went on to win the game.
“In the brief time that I have been here, I don’t think there are any teams that dominate for 90 minutes.
“The games have different spells, and it is about riding out spells and digging in.
“Even when it was 3-0 Coventry had a couple of chances, so you just have to keep focused right until the end of the game.”
Two goals in two minutes by Wes Burns and Ched Evans sealed Tuesday’s victory.
Marney says he just wanted to hit the target after being teed-up by James Wallace, with whom he formed a new central midfield partnership.
He added: “It was one of those – I got in Waldo’s way at first. He played a great little ball to me and I looked up, thought there was a chance and made sure I hit the target.
“Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.
“It was a key goal at a key time for us really.”