Stephen Crainey's coaching career developing just fine at Fleetwood

Aerial action from Fleetwood Town's win at AFC Fylde in the Lancashire Senior Cup
Aerial action from Fleetwood Town's win at AFC Fylde in the Lancashire Senior Cup

Fleetwood coach Stephen Crainey is hoping to pass on some of his experience to the crop of 2018/19 after engineering his first win in charge of Town’s new- look development squad.

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Most of Town’s U23 squad moved on this summer or have been loaned to non-league clubs, and Crainey took charge of a side which combined academy prospects and first-teamers in Tuesday’s 3-1 Lancashire Senior Cup win away to AFC Fylde.

Professional development phase coach Crainey has also been working with head coach Joey Barton’s first-team squad, and the former Blackpool and Scotland full-back likes the coaching set up at Town.

Crainey said: “Joey has been great. He has been really inclusive, which I am grateful for.

“I’ve been working really closely with the first team on a daily basis because it is helping with my development as well.

“Hopefully I can help them with my experience as well.”

This week’s win over one of his former clubs sent Town through to the last eight of the Senior Cup and Crainey said: “It is no secret, I was always a winner as a player.

“Every game Fleetwood Town enter we want to win and hopefully that will continue”

First teamers Harrison Biggins, Bobby Grant, Gethin Jones, Nathan Sheron and Tommy Spurr all picked up minutes to press their case for this weekend’s League One trip to Southend.

Crainey said: “It was really windy, the pitch was a wee bit dry and the grass a bit long, but I think the first- team lads applied themselves really well and we got hold of the game second half.

“I thought Bobby played that central number nine role really well.

“He held the ball up, took his goal well and got the triallist and Ryan Rydel coming off the flanks.”

Talking of the young players like Rydel, Crainey added: “I thought Ryan was excellent and put a great shift in on that left hand side.

“It was nice to see Gerard Garner because he has been out injured for a little while. He needs more minutes and that will come in the coming weeks.”

One player Crainey could not select was winger Wes Burns, who completes a three-match ban this weekend following his red card against Bradford.

“I think he has been a real threat in the first-team games with his pace,” said Crainey, “ but I’m sure he will be back in the head coach’s plans in the near future.”