Fleetwood Town skipper Nathan Pond has urged his team-mates to enjoy their football as they enter the final six games of an already historic season.
The 32-year-old centre half has famously risen from non-league with Town, having played in seven different divisions thanks to six promotions since his arrival from Lancaster City in 2003.
That promotion experience could prove vital in the final run-in with Pond recovering from a knee injury to start Town’s last two games on the bench.
Uwe Rosler’s players have already surpassed their highest League One points tally to enter the final month in third place and in a position to grab either an automatic promotion spot or a play-off place.
He was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw at Bury and 1-0 defeat to Swindon on Saturday but managed 45 minutes in a development squad game against Preston North End between those two league games.
Only three of Town’s current squad are over 30 with 31-year-old Martyn Woolford joining Pond as an unused substitute on the bench to continue his recovery from a knee injury.
Pond says he is passing on his experience to the younger players, stressing to striker Ash Hunter – who has not scored in three months – that the goals will flow again with Town failing to fire in their last three games.
Hunter’s last goal was in the 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers in January that was also, ironically, the last time Pond featured.
He picked up his knee injury in a collision with team-mate Conor McLaughlin.
Pond said: “(I say) Just keep doing what you are doing, play for the team.
“Ash Hunter has not scored for a while so he is getting a bit greedy.
“I said ‘keep doing what you are doing and the goals will come, keep playing for the team and you will get the chances.’”
Pond does not see why he could not write another chapter in the club’s history, having made the step up in every tier from the North West Counties to the third tier of English football .
And Pond says Town’s 0-0 draw and 1-0 replay defeat against Championship side Bristol City in January when they were far from outplayed says the next level is reachable.
He said: “I don’t see why not; I’ve played at nearly every level of football and I’ve always made the step up.
“We played in the cup against Bristol and I would not say they outplayed us,- it was a good even game.
“I know that they are at the bottom end of the Championship but we gave a good account of ourselves that day and felt quite good playing there.”