Conor named best in EFL but puts Fleetwood first

Conor McLaughlin
Conor McLaughlin

He’s just been named in the EFL team of the season but Fleetwood full-back Conor McLaughlin would much rather have a successful end to the campaign for Town than individual recognition.

Having already been crowned the EFL’s League One right-back of the season, the 25-year-old beat League Two winner Kelvin Mellor of Blackpool and Championship choice Tommy Smith of Huddersfield to the overall accolade across the three tiers.

But with Town third in the table and well placed to secure a play-off spot with four games to play, McLaughlin says his honour is a reward for how well the team has performed.

He said: “I didn’t even expect to get in the League One team of the season, so it’s a nice bonus.

“It’s a reward for how well the team have done. When you play in a good team, it makes it easier for individuals.

“I’ve said before, though, that I’d rather take a successful season over any individual awards.”

And Northern Ireland full-back McLaughlin credits head coach Uwe Rosler – who was crowned League One boss of the season but missed out on the overall EFL award to Doncaster’s Darren Ferguson – and the staff for his form this term.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Oldham ended an unbeaten away run which stretched back to November and left Town still two points short of their target of 74.

And ahead of the first of four “cup finals” at home to Peterborough on Friday, McLaughlin said: “We have four massive games left. We want to stay in the play-off places and get to our points target as soon as possible”.

EFL team of the year

GK: David Stockdale (Brighton), RB: Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood), CB: Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Sonny Bradley (Plymouth), LB: Enda Stevens (Portsmouth), MF: Anthony Knockaert (Brighton), Josh Morris (Scunthorpe), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), ST: Chris Wood (Leeds), Dwight Gayle (Newcastle), Billy Sharp (Sheffield United)

Fleetwood’s development squad are away to Wigan in today’s Lancashire FA Senior Cup final. Kick-off at Robin Park is at 1pm.