FLEETWOOD skipper Rob Atkinson is ‘buzzing’ to be back at the heart of Town’s defence and looking to secure another shut out at Plymouth Argyle.
Town have kept more clean sheets than any other side in League Two, the 3-0 victory at Accrington Stanley was the club’s 16th of the season.
And Atkinson, who took back his centre-half berth at The Crown Ground, was delighted to keep a pair of former England strikers, Francis Jeffers and James Beattie, at bay.
He said: “It was great to get my place back, and to take the captaincy.
“But most important was getting the win and the clean sheet. I’m buzzing about that but the focus now is on Saturday and getting a run going.”
Saturday’s opponents are second bottom of the table, having managed just six clean sheets of their own this season.
And Atkinson knows it’s an ideal opportunity to put pressure on the play-off pack. “It is a great chance to get a playoff run started,” he said.
“Looking at the table we know they, like Accrington, have struggled this season.
“But it isn’t going to be easy. They are fighting for their lives.
“But we’ll be full of confidence after Tuesday’s result.
“We need to take one game at a time but hopefully we can build on a good result.”
Atkinson spent the first half of this season on loan at Accrington, who now prop up the table, having slipped behind Argyle on goal difference.
And he was delighted to head back to the Crown Ground on Tuesday –his return made sweeter as Fleetwood headed back to the Fylde coast with three points.
The victory ended a five-game winless streak for Graham Alexander’s men and, according to Atkinson, couldn’t have come too soon.
He said: “It was nice to come back and get the three points. They were much needed.
“We knew we had to get a win sooner rather than later. There are nine cup finals still to come, from now until the end of the season. Tuesday was a big night for us and now we’ve got to push on, starting at Plymouth.”
Also significant on Tuesday was the end of Fleetwood’s goal drought - the team having managed just one goal in four games previously.
And it was big striker Jon Parkin who finally opened the floodgates – his hat-trick putting Fleetwood back within five points of the playoff positions and sending him shooting to number one spot in the table of Fleetwood’s top goalscorers.
Atkinson was keen to acknowledge his impact
He said: “Parky did well on Tuesday, although I’m not sure about the third, it looked like a deflection, but he’s the man holding the match ball!”
“It shows what he brings to the team, his goals and his presence at the right end of the field.
“All the lads are excited for him and just hoping we’ll see more of the same.”