MICKY Mellon is convinced his Fleetwood Town side have nothing to fear in the Football League after doing the port proud in their first ever League Cup tie last night, writes WILLIAM WATT.
League Two newcomers Town lost 1-0 to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
Dexter Blackstock’s second-half strike proved decisive but for long spells the Cod Army were much the better side, and it was only the quality of finishing which proved the difference. And Mellon believes it stands his side in good stead for their first Football League campaign, which begins at home to Torquay on Saturday.
Mellon said: “I’m delighted with the way we played. Apart from a spell of five minutes or so in the second half I thought we were the better side.
“We gave the ball away too easily in that spell but I’m delighted with a lot of what happened. We’ve shown again how far we have moved on as a club.
“We’ll learn that at times you can be more patient at this level and not try to score every time you have the ball.”
Fleetwood handed full debuts to six of their 11 summer signings and a seventh, Steve Gillespie, came off the bench.
And despite the huge difference in the clubs’ histories – Forest have won this competition four times – Town are hopeful they will not to be too far apart in the future.
Mellon added: “Anyone who was at Highbury wouldn’t believe there were two leagues between the sides. We’ve worked very hard on the defensive side of our game and we looked a really tidy outfit at the back.
“As the manager of Fleetwood Town, I’m delighted to be under way now and that we gave such a good account of ourselves.
“We know that there’s still work to do but we have plenty to work with. We need to make sure we don’t take these sort of evenings for granted. We need to embrace them.”
Among the new signings, striker Jon Parkin came closest to an equaliser. The former Preston man impressed and was a handful throughout.
And Mellon thinks he could be a real threat in the coming season. “I thought Jon Parkin was immense. We now know what a big presence he’s going to be for us up there,” he said.
“We have to recognise what his attributes are and we need to make the most of them.”