Wes Burns is expecting a strong battle when Fleetwood Town host Shrewsbury Town tomorrow.
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The visitors sit 16th in League One, five places and three points behind Fleetwood, having played one game more.
Joey Barton’s players ran out 3-0 winners in September’s reverse fixture, and Burns is hoping to draw on that performance and end Town’s disappointing recent run.
The 25-year-old told The Gazette: “If they’re anything like when we played them previously this season, they’re going to be a big, physical team.
“They’re going to come and really stick it to us and make us defend our box. We’ll be prepared for that.
“I thought we were pretty solid and clinical when we went down there.
“I know results of late haven’t been great for us, going out of two of the cups and a last-minute defeat to Burton last weekend. That was a sore one to take last weekend.
“Credit to the group – whenever we go through a tough patch like this we always respond correctly.”
Defeat on Saturday would see Shrewsbury draw level with Town in a closely-fought division. Should Fleetwood win at Highbury, they could climb as many as five places.
Burns added: “It’s a weird one because we’ve always said in here that anyone can beat anyone in this league.
“So if you put together a run of, say, four or five wins together, you can go from sitting in ninth or 10th to second or third.
“Our goal as a team probably isn’t to say we’re going to look to finish third or second.
“Our goal is to take each game as it comes – take three points every Saturday or Tuesday and see where that takes us.
“If you put some wins together, you could be sat top comfortably.”
Town also have one or two games in hand on every team above them bar Doncaster Rovers and Burns added: “It’s always nice to have the points if you can but games in hand are opportunities to leap over some other teams.
“I know our games in hand are against Sunderland and Portsmouth, so they’re obviously going to be tough.
“They’re games we can win because anyone can beat anyone, so as long as we capitalise on our games in hand we can go second, which is bizarre.
“But three points are on offer each game and that’s what we’re looking for.”