FORMER frontman Craig Madden says the Fleetwood Town strikers must take their chances if they are to remain a force in League Two throughout the season.
Town assistant boss Madden says the need to capitalise on chances is the key difference between this level and the Conference.
Madden, a prolific scorer for Bury and over three seasons with Blackpool in the late 1980s, believes Port Vale recently gave Town a lesson in clinical finishing which they must take on board.
Micky Mellon’s number two told The Gazette: “We have to be delighted with the way the players have found their feet at this level but the strikers do have to score more goals.
“The players have to step up and realise that when chances come along at this level you have to take them.
“One of our best performances was against Port Vale. We played really well but conceded five and that’s because they were clinical with their chances. That’s the main difference at this level.
“We have strikers who have good pedigree, who have played at higher levels, but this division will throw obstacles in their way and they have to make sure they make the most of the chances that come their way.”
That said, Madden is delighted that Town are holding a play-off position at this stage of the season, though no-one should take it for granted they they will remain there.
He warned: “This league is just what we expected but everyone else seems to have expected it to be pretty easy for us. The reality is it’s very tough, and there are some good, well-organised sides in this division.
“Everyone seems to expect us to be there or thereabouts but it doesn’t work like that. We have been good in some games and indifferent in others, and we haven’t always got the rewards when we have been good, like against Port Vale.
“We have only conceded two in the other seven games, so we have looked pretty solid at the back.”
Madden stressed that the strikers, like everyone else in an ultra-competitive squad, will have to perform to keep their places, regardless of reputation.
“They all have to go out and earn their place, and they must do that on the training ground as well as in the matches. That’s Micky’s way and no-one is guaranteed a place,” he said.
“We are going into every game with confidence, but not over-confidence because we know how difficult this league is.”