Pond ready for another tough Fleetwood test

Nathan Pond makes his 400th appearance for Fleetwood
Nathan Pond makes his 400th appearance for Fleetwood

Long-serving Fleetwood captain Nathan Pond is not underestimating today’s opponents Salford City as Town come up against some familiar faces at Moor Lane.

City clinched promotion to the National League North last term and are now three tiers below Fleetwood in the football pyramid.

Nathan Pond

Nathan Pond

Pond says their non-league hosts will be out to cause an upset against a side licking their wounds after Wednesday’s 5-0 defeat by Liverpool.

And with his former team-mates Richie Allen, Simon Grand and goalkeeper Craig Dootson in the Salford ranks, centre-half Pond is wary of their quality.

He said: “It will be a different challenge. Salford are a good side. There are a few of my ex-team-mates there and they had a good FA Cup run last year, so they will be looking to turn us over.

“They will be looking to catch the eye and it will be a tough game.”

Salford are co-owned by five of Manchester United’s famous ‘Class of 92’ – Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.

And United’s great rivals Liverpool handed Town what Pond believes will be a valuable lesson. He said: “It was a great workout for the lads. Those are the levels we need to get to really.

“We’ve only been in training three weeks and that is our first competitive game. It is good because that is how you find out what you need to work on more and what you need to improve on.

“Usually you play a lesser team first (in pre-season) and finish with a stronger team, but in my opinion it is good this way round because you don’t want to lose 5-0 going into the season. It was good to get a masterclass and we will learn from it.”

In the second half, Pond partnered new signing Cian Bolger from Southend in a youthful Town line-up.

Pond says that it was a good experience for the youngsters and that a full-strength Town team would have had problems against the Anfield side.

He said: “In the second half there were me, Cian Bolger and Eggert Jonsson who were more experienced. The rest were our younger players. I’m sure they enjoyed the night and it was a good experience.

“But I think that if we had put our full-strength, experienced side out we’d have had complications as well.

“I’ve played with Cian in training games but obviously in competitive games it is a lot different.

“It was tough for us both because we were under pressure against Liverpool, but it was for training purposes and was a good workout.

“We weren’t happy to concede four second half but there wasn’t a great deal we could do about the goals.”