STRIKER George Donnelly is striving hard to regain match fitness and his goalscoring touch at Fleetwood Town.
These are frustrating times for a natural goalscorer seeking to open his account for his new club.
Fleetwood’s 22-year-old record signing from Plymouth made his debut at Forest Green on January 8 but suffered a calf injury in the return match against the same club at Highbury at the end of last month. The former Liverpool trainee suffered extensive bruising to his left leg which has hindered his impact but he is confident that elusive first goal will come.
Donnelly said: “The Forest Green player came through for the ball but took me instead. It was a heavy challenge and quite a blow which sidelined me for a few weeks.”
“It’s only a question of time before I score. Once it happens, others will follow – no problem.
“There are many reasons why strikers don’t score. I feel I’d started to settle into the side then the injury came.
“Confidence is a big thing with strikers and mine has taken a bit of a dent but I’m raring to go now.”
Despite not finding the back of the net, Donnelly feels his contribution has helped Town to remain in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off zone.
“I’d like to think I’ve done enough to help the team gain points,” added the striker.
“This Saturday against Eastbourne would be an ideal opportunity to score my first goal for the club.
“We have struggled against lower-placed clubs and it’s time that changed. The Grimsby and Luton performances need to be taken into the weekend.”
Donnelly netted 12 goals in two loan stints at Stockport County since January last year and at the time he signed for Town he was still at the Cheshire club, who now find themselves in the League Two relegation zone.
Having netted eight in 23 games for the Edgeley Park club this season, Donnelly added: “I scored plenty of goals at Stockport and they were struggling for most of that time.
“We have a great team at Fleetwood, who are full of confidence and ability. We go into games with the aim of winning and the goals come with that. We need to make sure that happens against Eastbourne.”
Plymouth, for whom Donnelly signed from Skelmersdale United in 2009, also find themselves in trouble, rooted to the foot of League One after being docked ten points this week for going into administration.
It raised the prospects of Donnelly facing one or both of his former clubs next season with Fleetwood.
“We may see Stockport in the Conference or Plymouth in League Two. I’d certainly prefer to be up against Plymouth in League Two but I wish both clubs the best of luck.”
n GRIMSBY, beaten 3-0 at Fleetwood last Saturday, have dismissed manager Neil Woods. Woods’ final match was Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Forest Green.
INTERVIEW AND PICTURE: DERICK THOMAS