Town chairman Pilley relishes Rovers clash

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley
Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley says tonight’s game with Blackburn Rovers highlights the club’s remarkable rise within the last decade.

Ten years ago Blackburn finished the 2007-08 season seventh in the top tier under Mark Hughes and were competing in the UEFA Cup.

A decade on and Rovers, Premier League winners in 1994/95, are in the third tier.

Back when Rovers were taking on European opponents as well as the cream of the Premier League, Fleetwood were just being crowned Northern Premier League champions.

While Pilley says tonight’s showdown emphasises Town’s remarkable journey, he also warned they will not roll over at Ewood Park.

The two clubs are level on points in League One with Rovers seventh because of a superior goal difference.

Pilley said: “Ewood Park is fantastic in as much as who would have thought it 10 years ago, when they were right up at the top of the Premier League and we were in the lower regions of non-league?

“I think it is one of those things that brings it home how remarkable the journey has been that we have been on.

“That said they have got great history but we live life in the present – and the present is that they are in the same league as us and they are there or there abouts with pretty much the same points tally as us.

“So we will go there thinking we are capable of beating them. I’m sure we will give a good account of ourselves.

“It was one of the first fixtures I looked out for. It is a shame it is not on a Saturday.

“Halloween isn’t great but I’m sure the fans will travel in their numbers and I’d love to get a good result there, I really would.”

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray took time out from his preparations for tonight’s game to praise Town for their rise up the pyramid.

He said: “It’s a great story. I know they’ve got a great training complex there, I think Sir Alex (Ferguson) opened it a few years ago for them.

“It’s a nice environment to go and play in at the stadium with the big main stand. Great credit to them.

“They are obviously making a good fist of it, as they did last year.

“Having watched them they look a real difficult proposition to play against and it will be a big test for us.”