Fleetwood Town players spurned their chance to shine

Fleetwood Town's Kyle Dempsey
Fleetwood Town's Kyle Dempsey

Fleetwood Town’s development squad boss Stephen Crainey does not think many of the first teamers that featured in his side’s loss at Macclesfield Town have done enough to force themselves into contention for Saturday’s League One clash with Burton Albion.

Town’s development squad progressed through to the semi-finals of the Central League Cup despite their 3-2 defeat in midweek in which Kyle Dempsey and Harrison Biggins were on target.

Chris Long and Gethin Jones, who had been training with the U18s after their ‘effort errors’ in the 3-1 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Bury, were making their first competitive appearances since that match.

Youngsters Billy Crellin, Harrison Holgate, James Hill, Lewis Baines, Ryan Rydel, Jay Matete and Ged Garner made up the rest of the XI that featured.

However, Crainey did not think many of the first teamers used the encounter to impress first team head coach Joey Barton.

When asked if the first teamers had pushed their cause for League One action on Saturday, he said: “To be honest I don’t think there are many that have.

“Maybe one or two but that is a disappointing aspect for me because games like Tuesday are showcase games to go and show the manager what they can do.

“Unfortunately, for some of them, they did not do that.

“In football sometimes you only get one or two opportunities and sometimes it passes you by.

“You need to grab these opportunities when they come.

“I don’t think many of them did apart from the exception of one or two.”

The former Blackpool and Celtic man added: “I said to the lads, as professional footballers and professional athletes, you can’t be like that at any given time.

“I know Macclesfield are a league below and we need to show why we are a league above.

“I don’t think we did that on Tuesday. That is a disappointing aspect.”