Mellon geed up for a two horse race

Micky Mellon
Micky Mellon
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FLEETWOOD Town boss Micky Mellon says he and his players are unbowed by the challenge posed by arch-rivals Wrexham in the closing weeks of the season, with the prize of a Football League place at the end of it.

Speaking before tonight’s televised clash away to Kidderminster Harriers, Mellon said: “I don’t want to be involved in meaningless mid-table matches – I want to play in top-of-the-table games for the rest of my managerial career.

“I want big games all the time and so do the players.”

Fleetwood go into tonight’s match at Aggborough, which will be screened live by the Premier Sports channel, five points ahead of hot pursuers Wrexham, who kept up their own momentum with a 2-0 win over Luton on Wednesday and still have a game in hand on Town.

That result killed off any lingering hope the Hatters had of getting into the automatic promotion position and Mellon expects the remaining two title challengers to go tit-for-tat in the closing weeks.

Town go into their final ten fixtures on a 21-game unbeaten run and the boss said: “We are in pole position, and I would rather we were there than anywhere else.

“You would have to say now that it is a two-horse race (for the title).

“I would expect Fleetwood and Wrexham to keep winning, or at least keep putting each other under pressure.

“We know we will have to work hard until the end of the season, and so will they.”

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Following the last-gasp 2-1 win over Grimsby on Tuesday night, Mellon is again pleased to report a clean bill of health on the fitness side.

He could stick to the same squad but is open to change given tonight’s opposition, who still have hopes of reaching the play-offs despite losing their last two home matches, the latest a 2-1 to Barrow last Saturday.

The Highbury meeting between the sides in September was a fiery affair, in which Town had Jamie Vardy sent off (along with the Harriers’ Steve Guinan), four other players booked and won 5-2.

Mellon said: “The Kidderminster pitch is not the best and we will have to adapt to whatever the conditions are, though that is something we have done before.

“We will have to make sure we play with the pitch, not against it.”

Kiddie include in their ranks the former England international Lee Hendrie, who had a spell on loan at Blackpool.

Mellon has respect for his opponents but does not dwell on their strengths or shortcomings.

He said: “I am much more concerned about what we do and how we conduct ourselves, making sure that we remain focused.

“It is not as if we don’t know what it takes to get promotion. We are used to these situations and the players know what is expected (Town are bidding for a fifth promotion in eight seasons).”

It is Town’s fourth game in 11 days, whereas Kidderminster did not have a midweek fixture, but Mellon is unconcerned.

“Players would much rather play games than train,” he reasoned.