It’s been a long wait for a taste of League Two action but Stephen Jordan knows he couldn’t be coming into the Fleetwood Town team at a better time.
The former Manchester City, Burnley and Preston full- back has started the last two games for Town – an injury to Charlie Taylor finally giving him a chance to shine.
And with automatic promotion still a possibility, the one-time Premier League defender and team-mate of boss Graham Alexander is hoping to play a bigger part yet.
“It was unfortunate what happened to Charlie,” said the 32-year-old. “He’s done really well and he’s been fantastic all season.
“But I’ve come in. Now I just want to keep going. We’ve all just got to keep pushing.”
Taylor turned his ankle in training ahead of Friday’s trip to Cheltenham.
Jordan, thrown into the side, provided the defence- splitting pass for Town’s winner before contributing to Monday’s clean-sheet against Wycombe.
“The weekend gave us exactly what we needed,” he admitted.
“Monday was a strange one, with Goody (Alan Goodall) getting sent off early on.
“There was a strange atmosphere after that. The boys dug in well.
“It’s not easy going down to 10 men but we got the clean sheet and hung on for the win.”
Goodall’s red card certainly didn’t make life easy for Fleetwood, who were down to 10-men for nearly 80 minutes.
But Jordan was proud of the discipline showed by his Highbury team-mates.
He said:”It’s always tougher because they had an extra man. But the gaffer was just telling us to keep doing what we were doing and to keep our shape. We did that and we never really looked like conceding.
“I don’t really think they created any chances and we felt comfortable.
“It wasn’t just the back four, it was the whole team. Everyone defended really well, the strikers getting involved too.”
And when Josh Morris stepped up to smash home the winner, Jordan knew what was coming.
He explained: “Josh said at half-time he had a similar chance in the first minute and he should have shot. He said that if he got another opportunity he was going to go for it. He did and we got the win.”
Before Friday, Jordan had made just one start since August, when his season was halted through injury.
He admits a return to action in the Gloucestershire sunshine was tough but it didn’t take long to adjust.
“I feel pretty good,” said the defender. “Probably half an hour in against Cheltenham my lungs were on fire.
“But second half there and on Monday I was feeling pretty good. I’m ready for it if I’m needed again.”
And he’s hoping for a granstand end to the campaign – a potential cup final awaiting Fleetwood at Chesterfield’s Proact stadium on May 3.
Jordan told The Gazette: “It’s about going to Chesterfield with something to play for. It might be better thinking we need to go and win.
“They might have it in their head they only need a point or whatever. We can go there fired up and do it.”