Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley admits Jimmy Ryan’s absence with be big blow’ for Town as he prepares for a Highbury showdown with Chesterfield.
Ryan reached the League One play-offs with the Spireites last season but will not face his former club - serving a one match suspension having picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign at Barnsley last weekend.
Pressley knows just what Ryan brings to the table for Fleetwood.
One of his first acts as Town manager was to make Ryan his matchday captain and the former Scotland international has been left astonished by the midfielder’s work rate and commitment.
“It’s a big blow,” said Pressley.
“Since I’ve come in here he’s been absolutely outstanding.
“I liked him at Chesterfield and he’s probably a better player than I though he was when he was there.
“He was a player we at Coventry very much admired.
“Working first hand with him he’s been everything I expected and more.
“Not just in possession but out of possession his work ethic has been wonderful.
“I think during the period of being here he’s been the captain of our team and he’s taken that role and responsibility in hand.”
Ryan may be absent but Town could welcome back talismanic skipper Nathan Pond who came through a 45 minute test against Oldham on Wednesday afternoon.
Pond will be in the matchday squad but Pressley wouldn’t be drawn on whether the 30-year-old would make his starting eleven following the departure last weekend of on-loan Rotherham centre half Richard Wood.
Either Pond or young Leicester City defender Joe Davis will partner Dionotan Teixeira, who earlier this week extended his loan deal from Stoke City.
“Firstly we’re delighted to extend Tex’s deal,” said Pressley
“In the short time he’s been here he’s impressed us immensely.
“He’s adapted to what we’ve asked of him and shown an appetite to stay which is extremely important.
“In that respect I’m extremely pleased.
“He’s also a left-sided centre back, which is hard to come by, so that’s an added bonus.
“Of course losing Wood was a disappointment.
“He’d formed a good partnership with Tex while he’d been here, keeping two clean-sheets in the last three games.
“But for family reasons and locations Chesterfield was a more appealing option.
“But in his absence we’ve got Pondy coming back into the frame.”
Pond, who has not played for the first team since turning his ankle at Oldham in August, is certainly in contention for tomorrow’s clash.
“He’s trained this week, he played 45 minutes of a development game, coming off at half time,” said Pressley.
“He’s building up gradually and he’s a thought for us at the weekend.
“But so is Joe Davis.
“We’ve got a couple of options in that area and we’ll have to make that decision.”