Vardy focused on cup ‘shock’

Southport 0 Fleetwood 6'By Greig Bertram'Jamie Vardy celebrates
Southport 0 Fleetwood 6'By Greig Bertram'Jamie Vardy celebrates

JAMIE Vardy is fully focused on giving Blackpool an FA Cup “shock” on Saturday and his manager Micky Mellon is convinced Fleetwood Town’s top scorer won’t be distracted by the transfer speculation surrounding him.

Having been linked with a series of Football League clubs, including Crawley and Huddersfield, Town’s prize asset has been subjected to reports of a £1m move to Scottish giants Celtic.

Mellon said: “This is pure speculation. I know Neil Lennon (Celtic boss) and I would expect a call from him before Celtic made an offer.

“They are a massive club who do their business the right way and we have heard nothing.

“Unless we are offered an unbelievable fee, Vardy will not be leaving Fleetwood Town in this transfer window.

“But even if there is a really big offer, what is the price of promotion for Fleetwood Town? In the summer, we may receive an offer for him which we feel is too good for us to stand in the player’s way, but we haven’t had a single call.

“I know all the speculation doesn’t bother Jamie, and he didn’t look distracted on Sunday when he scored twice at Southport.”

Vardy didn’t sound distracted either as he looked ahead to the third-round clash with Blackpool on Saturday.

The frontman, whose brace in the 6-0 triumph at Haig Avenue took his tally for the season to 22, said: “I just can’t wait for Saturday and I’m absolutely looking forward to it. We just have to show Blackpool what we are made of.

“I think Blackpool are in for a shock and we have to be confident if we carry on playing like we did at Southport.”

And the Yorkshireman, who turns 25 next week, reckons the best is yet to come if Town can keep 11 men on the field – something they couldn’t achieve in either festive fixture against Southport.

Vardy added: “We didn’t start playing until we went down to ten men in the first game, but in the second game we came out firing on all cylinders.

“Unfortunately we went down to ten again but we carried on playing in the second half just as we had in the first and I bagged two.

“They were still leaving three at the back against ten men and I was on my own up front, but it all worked out perfectly and we’ve got another big win.”

Vardy and his Town team-mates have been given today off before completing their preparations for the sell-off Highbury humdinger.

Mellon is convinced he will have no difficulties keeping his players’ feet on the ground, though keeping the ball on the ground in very strong winds at their Fylde training base could be different matter.

“Everybody was no different in training yesterday,” Mellon added, “except for having to deal with the high winds. But we have no new injury concerns and we will prepare thoroughly on Thursday and Friday.”

The Gazette understands that Town have now agreed a permanent deal with Morecambe for central defender Kieran Charnock following his successful loan spell, while Jamie McGuire is also available for the Blackpool game following suspension.

However, new signing Danny Rose is cup-tied, having represented Newport in this season’s competition.

Vardy saw enough in the midfielder’s 20-minute debut at Southport to convince him that Rose will be a big hit at Highbury.

He added: “Danny has come on towards the end and shown us what he is all about.

He’s as ‘chilled as’, and threads he passes through, which helps me with my runs.”

n Town’s Conference rivals Darlington have been docked ten points after going into administration yesterday.

The Quakers drop three places from 13th to 16th .

Vardy interview: David Mitchell