Town boss turns to Pond as Wood joins Spireites

Steven Pressley embraces Richard Wood at Oakwell
Steven Pressley embraces Richard Wood at Oakwell

Defender Richard Wood is likely to line up against Fleetwood Town next weekend as he is expected to complete a loan move to Chesterfield.

The 30-year-old has played a major part in Fleetwood’s turnaround under Steven Pressley, which continued with a 1-0 win at Barnsley on Saturday.

However, the Yorkshire-based centre half is unlikely to return to Highbury for an extended spell.

The Rotherham ace met with Pressley on Friday, the Fleetwood boss understanding of his circumstances.

Now he’ll be looking for ways to exploit a player he had managed at two different clubs - the Spireites visiting Highbury on Saturday.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult,” said Pressley.

“The likelihood is he’s going to play elsewhere for family reasons.

“He had a really frank discussion with me on Friday.

“I really respect Wood.

“His performance on Saturday typified the man he is.

“But I told him in the dressing room all our analysts work next week will be how we can exploit Wood, in behind.

“That might give you a clue where he’s going.

“But because of his family, he’s got young kids, at this moment in time they may well be able to offer him greater security.

“That’s football.

“But what I will say is his attitude, his professionalism, his level of performance since I’ve been at the club and the way he went about things on Saturday were a credit to him as a footballer.”

Fleetwood’s summer recruitment left them short on numbers at centre half.

Dionotan Teixeira and Joe Davis remain on loan at Highbury.

And Pressley hinted there may be a return to the side for the club’s talismanic skipper.

Nathan Pond has been sidelined since turning his ankle at Oldham on the second weekend of the season.

But Pressley believes he may be a contender to face Chesterfield

“I’m hoping Pondy will play some part of a game we have on Wednesday,” he said.

“With Wood going or likely to be going we are light in that area.

“(Dionotan) Teixeira gave a good performance on Saturday, we have Joe (Davis) who is here who will come into consideration.

“Depending on how Pondy’s week goes he may well come into consideration as well.”

The win at Barnsley lifted Fleetwood out of the drop zone, Pressley’s men leapfrogging Lee Johnson’s Tykes who have lost their last five.

Jamie Proctor’s goal was the only one of the afternoon - Fleetwood’s victory functional.

But Pressley was unashamed in his pride.

“First I’m not going to apologise for the performance,” he said.

“It was winning ugly but I thought it was a defensive master class from us.

“We gave up very few chances against a very creative side.

“When we’ve seen the teams come in we could see they’d put all their creative players out there.

“I’m so proud of our group because the first steps to recovery are doing the fundamentals and the basics right and we’ve done them brilliantly.”

He insists the bruising display is not what he wants to see going forward but made it clear needs must with Fleetwood still fighting a relegation battle

“Moving forward it’s not how I want to see us win,” said Pressley.

“But all I want to see us do right now is win games of football.

“I think six points from the last eight days, considering the fixtures, two clubs of massive resource in Barnsley and Sheffield United and Burton Albion who were second top of the league when they came to our ground.

“For our players to take six from nine, I’m really proud.

“We’ve still got work to do.

“In the future I want it to be nine from nine.

“But I’ll take those steps and this is a significant one.

“You’ve got to believe you can win in this manner.”