No laughing matter

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

FLEETWOOD Town players had a laugh at a comedy show at the club last night – but it will be back to serious business tomorrow for the arrival of Forest Green Rovers to Highbury.

Town’s first-team squad attended the first of the comedy nights being run at the club as a means of team-bonding.

Manager Micky Mellon said: “It was just a fun get-together for the lads – no alcohol!

“It was a bit of a laugh – things can get a bit monotonous in training, and it was just something different for the lads.”

Mellon had a smile on his face for a different reason today with a much improved situation on the injury-front, though there is still a slight question-mark about whether Jamie Vardy will be fit to return against Forest Green following suspension.

He had a run-out against Rangers in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday, but had to come off after half an hour because of a dead leg.

Mellon said: “If the match had been on a Thursday, then Vardy would not have been able to play – he should be okay for Saturday, but we will monitor it.

“Vardy is a special player who can make things happen, but we are not a one-man team by any means, and we have people that can come in.”

Gareth Seddon played in the Rangers match with a cast on an injured finger, and he was fine, so he will be able to join the squad for the Forest Green match.

Nathan Pond did a full 90-minute shift against Rangers, and he has also been added to the squad for Forest Green, while Jamie McGuire played to keep up his fitness levels following suspension, and produced a five-star display.

“McGuire had a great game,” said Mellon.

Meantime, Magno Vieira is ready for an earlier-than-expected return to action.

The striker has been suffering a hamstring injury, but it is responding to treatment far faster than originally thought.

Mellon said: “Vieira won’t play on Saturday, but he may be ready for Tuesday (at home to Newport County), and if not he should be available for next Friday (away to Lincoln).

“We are not rushing him, but he is not far away and he has made great progress.”

Forest Green, in 15th place in the league standings, are managed by former Blackpool player Dave Hockaday.

In their latest match, they fought out a 1-1 draw against 10-man Mansfield, but Hockaday had expected better from his side.

After their third 1-1 scoreline in a row, Hockaday said: “Mansfield going down to 10 men was the worst thing that could have happened.

“We’d pulled back into the game at 1-1 and were the better team going into the second half, but then they got their man sent off and just went deep.

“They worked their socks off and kept their shape, which we struggled to break down, because as a young inexperienced team we haven’t got the patience.

“In the final third we were poor, putting balls in from the wrong angles and not beating the first man.

“We lack belief.

“When these players start believing in themselves then I believe we will do very well.”

Mellon said of Forest Green: “They have invested heavily in their squad during the summer, and brought in a lot of established Conference players.

“I am sure they are disappointed with their start in view of the investment their chairman has made in recent months.

“But they will be keen to catch up and show what they are capable of.”