OPINION: Fleetwood Town skipper has a crucial part to play in the week ahead
This could be a seismic week in Fleetwood Town's season if they hit the heights they are capable of.
By a week tomorrow, they could have felled League One leaders Portsmouth, outsmarted the Posh and made history by beating Blackpool for the first time.
Away day victories at Scunthorpe (5-0) and Doncaster (4-0) made statements but taking points off Pompey and Peterborough would truly put this Joey Barton’s side on the map.
The football on display in the first half against Shrewsbury will inspire confidence, but for me the key to Town halting a five-game winless run has been the return of the skipper Craig Morgan.
Like many, I was dubious about the signing of a 33-year-old centre-half who had not played for over a year.
But his leadership, composure and cool head have been invaluable – no surprise that Town failed to win without him.
After a shaky start, as he eased his way back from injury, Morgan has forged a near telepathic connection with ‘Mr Consistent’, Ash Eastham.
Fleetwood have not conceded on the road with the duo on the pitch and have won both league games since Morgan’s return. And although he could perhaps have done more to stop Josh Laurent halving the Shrews’ deficit, Morgan made vital late blocks
He might not have come with a six-figure price tag or much fanfare but captain Morgan is fast proving to be a key figure in Town’s bid to battle it out in the top half of the table.
And as the chimes of Pompey approach, Town will need many heroes in the week ahead.
After a sad September, October could provide the autumn flourish many were expecting from this squad.
As we saw in Fleetwood’s last two seasons, this is the time of year when teams can embark on runs which make or break their campaign.
In the week of the controversial fracking ruling, it could be Fleetwood causing the tremors and shaking up League One.