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Hunter gets set to meet Fleetwood Town mentor

Ash Hunter has fitted into the wing-back role at Fleetwood Town
Ash Hunter has fitted into the wing-back role at Fleetwood Town

Ash Hunter has hailed David Ball ahead of Fleetwood Town’s reunion with their former striker this afternoon.

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Ball was a senior figure in Town’s forward line last season but, after his contract expired in the summer, he joined Rotherham United.

No love will be lost on the pitch though as John Sheridan’s side look to make it eight unbeaten since he took over from Uwe Rosler.

Hunter said: “Bally was really influential on me last season.

“When me and him were on the pitch together he was always talking to me about where I needed to be.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him again but, of course, we will be going for the win.”

Ball’s Highbury replacement, Conor McAleny, made an instant impression by scoring both goals when Town beat the Millers 2-0 on the opening day of the season.

That flying start was then hampered by an ankle injury but, having now returned, McAleny has been joined by January signing Paddy Madden.

“The first half of the season with Conor being injured we probably missed the key player (up front),” Hunter said.

“But Paddy has come in and Conor is back and there is a lot of competition for places.”

Fleetwood have kept five clean sheets in a row heading to Rotherham.

Hunter has played his part in that after taking on a role as wing-back and hopes to have shown he is more than an impact player.

Under Rosler, the 22-year-old was regularly used from the bench rather than from the off.

He gained more starts around the turn of the year but he has played almost every minute under Sheridan.

He might be out of position at left wing-back but has been far from out of his depth.

Since making his bow in that role during Town’s win at Rochdale, the points have flowed with victories over Northampton Town, AFC Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers.

He said: “Since Christmas I have been playing 90 minutes now almost every week and I have proved that I am not just an impact player.

“Those minutes have helped, I’ve got a lot fitter by playing a regular 90 minutes.

“I think that is what I have needed.”