MANAGER Micky Mellon says Peter Till can play a crucial role for Fleetwood Town now the winger’s season is finally up and running.
A pre-season knee injury meant that Town fans had to wait three months to see the summer signing from York City in action.
The home win over Stockport wasn’t technically the 26-year-old’s debut – he came on for the closing moments of the FA Cup win over Wycombe and started the Lancashire Trophy tie with Radcliffe Borough a week ago – but for most supporters, Saturday’s 2-1 Conference victory was their first sighting of an exciting summer buy.
And Mellon has every confidence the tricky winger will make up for lost time.
The manager said: “The fans have waited a long, long time to see him play and have seen in flashes what he’s all about against Stockport.
“He is going to get better and better at a crucial time of the season.”
Till was delighted to get through 82 minutes on Saturday and said: “That game has been a long time coming.
“It’s been really frustrating because I had felt sharp during pre-season, then they discovered the knee problem which was a blow and it’s been a hard road back.
“I wasn’t expecting to play on Saturday after just 70 minutes in the midweek match. It was a real bonus and I expect the legs to be a bit stiff, but that’s only to be expected at this stage.
“The lads were great with me, telling me to ease my way in but take the full-back on if I got the chance. The gaffer told us at half-time that the full-backs were sticking close to me and Sean Clancy, and he told us both to pull them out and create space for Jamie Vardy and Andy Mangan, who terrorised the defence.”
It’s interesting to think that but for Till’s injury Town may not have signed Vardy – a late addition to a squad riddled with injuries to wide players at the start of the season.
Though Mellon clearly feels you can never have too many fast players in the squad. He added: “Pace is a killer at any level, and when you have it up top you are going to cause problems. Mangan linked brilliantly wih Vardy, who is a very special player.”
Mellon is delighted to add Till to his list of options in a squad which continues to be tested by injuries.
Skipper Steve McNulty was forced off with an ankle problem early in the second half but the manager is confident he can cover all eventualities.
He added: “McNulty has gone over on an ankle. We have a week to regroup, but this squad is capable of replacing anyone we lose.
“We had left-backs playing at centre-back on Saturday and we have a great squad.
“We say all the time that it’s a 14-man game. We will always use the three subs because they can come on and make an impact and win you the game.”
Regardless of who the match-winner is, Mellon just wants to keep winning, and was delighted to have done so in Saturday’s late kick-off with the added pressure of knowing that league leaders Wrexham had already triumphed that day.
“We were delighted to get a result at an odd time of evening because with the way other results went we knew we had to win,” he said.
“It’s important just to keep winning games and it was important to keep this run going and the momentum.”
And no-one is more anxious to play a part in maintaining that momentum than Till.
He added: “We’re on fire at the moment and long may it continue.
“It was a great atmosphere throughout the match and our fans were immense once again.
“I’m back now and I don’t want to give the shirt up. It’s a big squad and the gaffer will want to utilise everyone as much as possible.
“But with me only playing my first game in mid-November I certainly won’t be wanting a rest! I’d love a run of matches.”