Mellon keeps Town fresh after big test

Picture Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Cambridge.'Magno Vieira for Fleetwood.
Picture Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Cambridge.'Magno Vieira for Fleetwood.

SHAUN Beeley is a likely absentee for tonight’s home clash with Ebbsfleet United (7.45pm), though Fleetwood Town boss Micky Mellon was considering changes anyway to freshen up his Conference leaders.

Right-back Beeley has a groin problem and has been troubled by illness in the build-up to the second of Town’s three Highbury games in eight days.

Injury rules out two other widemen, Sean Clancy (back) and Peter Till (hamstring), but Mellon is happy to be in midweek action.

The Town boss said: “By this stage of the season the players are as fit as they are going to be and so you just want to get on with it. They would prefer to play than train.

“You don’t go crazy wtih changes but making one or two does keep it fresh.

“Three is probably the most you would want to make without disrupting the flow of the team.”

Mellon went with a bold attacking formation against Cambridge on Saturday – Richard Brodie, Andy Mangan, Jamie Vardy and Magno Vieira all started – and Mellon was pleased with the results as Town’s victory stretched their unbeaten league run to 17 games, although they could not add to Mangan’s third-minute winner.

“It’s not the first time we have played a front four and it worked fine, though we have to work on the final ball,” the manager added, and admitted Jamie McGuire did make a difference when he replaced Brodie in the second half.

“I felt we needed a bit more physical presence to try to get Vardy through the centre, and Jamie did what we know he’s capable of and started to dictate what was happening.

“Cambridge were the biggest side I’ve seen here by some distance. I couldn’t believe how big they were. They kept taking off a 6ft 3” guy and bringing on another.

“They won too many first headers for my liking. We’d have liked our centre-halves to have won more of those and our midfield to pick up more second balls. We will play football that is a lot more pleasing to the eye but there are many ways to win a game.

“We created more chances against Tamworth than we probably had in the last five games and did not win, so we are delighted with the result against Cambridge and the clean sheet.”

Having said that, he hopes for a victory which is easier on the eye this evening.

“Hopefully the weather will be a bit more comfortable for the watching public and we can get the ball down a bit.

“On Saturday we had galeforce winds, hail and the wind changing direction in the course of the game.”

He knows the Kent visitors will have some say in tonight’s events too as they seek to avenge September’s 3-1 home defeat by Town.

Mellon said: “They are comfortable in midtable and they know it’s a long trip home after a defeat. So the warning signs are there for us and we know we must be bright and at our best.”

Town go into action with a two-point lead over Wrexham, who visit Kidderminster tonight.