Steven Pressley has Blackpool firmly in his sights after his Fleetwood side ended Millwall’s nine-game unbeaten run with a 2-0 Highbury victory last night.
Back-to-back wins have lifted Town five point clear of their second-bottom neighbours going into Saturday’s first ever League meeting between he clubs at Bloomfield Road.
Manager Pressley said: “It was an outstanding performance from ourselves, full of intensity, full of purpose and full of belief . I was really really proud of the players.
“My question to them was: could we replicate that kind of performance? Could we show the same kind of intensity, the same levels (as Saturday’s against Swindon)?
“Not only did we show them, we surpassed them.”
Town enjoyed most of the pressure, scoring through Eggert Jonsson and Bobby Grant, and limiting Millwall to just three chances, one of which was converted in the fourth minute of added time by Byron Webster.
Failing to keep the clean sheet was the only dampener for Pressley, who has won three of his last four in all competitions.
“The only disappointing thing was the goal at the end,” he said.
“But the pleasing thing was the reaction of the players in the dressing room.
“They were not satisfied with losing the goal in the manner they did.
“That shows there’s a real burning desire within the group to do things properly.
“It’s really pleasing the steps we’re making, but I’m under no illusions there will be backwards ones along the way.
“But the last two performances have proven we are moving in the right direction and the players can be immensely proud of that.”
Conditions at Highbury weren’t easy and Fleetwood were hindered before the break by a strong tailwind, something they used to their advantage as they outpassed Neil Harris’ Lions after the restart.
Pressley said: “At half-time we knew the wind was with us and we could utilise it to hold up.
“We also knew that if we were aggressive enough and utilised our lines enough, the ball would go through to the goalkeeper. We knew we could do that.
“The main message was not to get sick of passing the ball, but to pass it with purpose, pass it with speed.
“Keep believing in what we were trying to do.
“Credit to the players for doing that.
“At no point in the game did we panic, at no point did we go away from the tactics we’d agreed.
“I think the players deserve huge credit for that in difficult conditions.”
Town go into Saturday’s derby day with a five point advantage over their near neighbours - who have lost seven on the bounce.
And Pressley is eyeing a nine point haul from three crucial League One fixtures.
He said: “You don’t like to look too far ahead.
“But our real ambition at the start of the week was to take nine from nine.
“There’s no doubt about that with two home games and a game against Blackpool.
“We’re under no illusions, it’ll be a tough game at the weekend.
“But we can certainly go there with confidence, we can certainly go there with a belief we can win the game.
“It’ll be fantastic if we manage to do so.”
And having bagged back-to-back wins, the Fleetwood boss is ready to push his players on.
“It was exactly what we needed, two straight wins,” he said.
“We asked the players have we got enough to do it, to continue to improve.
“The message was loud and clear.
“It’s really pleasing but we can’t be satisfied with only two.
“We have to make it three, we have to have that energy and belief at the weekend and really make this week a good one.”