FLEETWOOD boss Micky Mellon admits to making a selection mistake at Kidderminster, but he knows there is little margin for error tonight.
Friday’s 2-0 success over the Harriers stretched the Conference leaders’ unbeaten league run to 22 games and was their 11th win from 12 matches in 2012, but tonight they visit another of the Blue Square Bet Premier’s form sides – Mansfield are up to fourth on the back of a five-match winning streak and have lost only once since Christmas.
Mellon named a very attacking formation at Kidderminster, but rejigged after half an hour by introducing Lee Fowler to shore up the midfield, and he could again reshuffle his winning pack tonight.
The Town boss said: “Sometimes you have to put your hand up and say you got it wrong. I’m brave enough to do that and to change it.
“Gareth Seddon had to make way on Friday but you would not want him to feel too bad about that. It’s important that the team wins together and we got the result.
“After about half an hour I felt we adapted well to the tough conditions and we ran out 2-0 winners, so we have lots of confidence to take into the run-in.
“This is a massive game and we have one or two things in mind but we won’t be reckless.”
Having made such an impact off the bench, Fowler will be hoping to start tonight. The midfielder also applauded Mellon’s bravery at Kidderminster. Fowler said: “On the bench you could see we would need something different and the gaffer has made a brave decision to bring me on. As a manager you have to make those decisions, and with hindsight it’s worked and we got a foothold in game.
“Mansfield are having a bit of a resurgence but it doesn’t matter who we play. We have to keep steamrolling teams and winning. It’s not about the performances any more – all the football has been played and it’s all about results.”
The Stags are the only side Town are yet to face in the league this season, though they have met twice in the FA Cup, Fleetwood winning a fourth qualifying round replay 5-0 in November.
Town’s remarkable run has almost been matched stride for stride by second-placed Wrexham, and Town know one slip-up could hand the initiative back to the Welshmen, who visit Ebbsfleet tonight.
Town have no fresh injury worries, with Keith Briggs back in full training and Kieran Charnock available.
Lee Fowler was talking to DERICK THOMAS
*DON’T expect Robbie Fowler to sign for Fleetwood Town, according to manager Micky Mellon.
As the former Liverpool striker rejected a move to Blackpool last week, Town chairman Andy Pilley told The Gazette it would be “very exciting if we could get something sorted out.”
But Mellon was quick to play down the speculation. He said: “I don’t know anything about it. As far as I’m concerned, I have not spoken to Robbie or to the chairman about him, but I already have a squad that’s capable of challenging.”
More strikers are hardly an urgent requirement at Town – Andy Mangan and Jamie Vardy have hit the net 46 times between them this season.