MICKY Mellon hailed “a massive win” in Fleetwood Town’s play-off bid but warned of battles ahead as Town’s season continues “to dangle on a knife-edge”.
With Town now just two points outside the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off zone with seven to play, the manager spelled out the vital importance of Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Wrexham.
Mellon said: “We needed the points so much and we have shown we have the fire in our bellies to finish the season strongly.
“It would have been a really big ask to have won the number of games we need to (had Town not won on Saturday). We have pulled Wrexham back into the pack. They know we are hanging on to their coat-tails and will fight to the end.
“We knew the message coming from Wrexham was that they thought they could probably put us to bed today, but we were fired up for the game and we knew how important it was. We want to make sure we are right in there at the death.
“We have not flung our cards in yet. We know there’s still some work to do but we want to get into the play-offs very badly. This club has got used to being in the shake-up over the past few seasons and this season is no different.
But Mellon warned the run-in will be no place for the faint-hearted. “I’ve told the players that the days of pretty football have gone. I said that last season too. It’s now all about grit and determination, about being competitive and making sure you take your chances when they come.
“You ain’t going to see pretty and slick football now. The pitches aren’t conducive to that and there’s so much at stake.
“It will be very competitive and Saturday (at Hayes and Yeading) will be no different.”
The Wrexham game was certainly highly competitive but Mellon felt his side fully deserved the points.
“I always enjoy the victories because they are so hard to come by in this division. Games are lasting 93 or 94 minutes and you have to stay competitive to the end.
“For the first half-hour we played very well, though to be hyper-critical we were a wee bit untidy at times.
“But then in the 15 minutes before half-time we started to take ten or 15 steps back rather than playing up against people.
“We told them at half-time to be brave and take responsibility for the man you are playing against to try to win the game, and we did that second half.
Full credit to the boys – they have battled to the end and I don’t remember Wrexham having a chance.”
Sean Clancy showed precisely those battling qualities for the winner.
“I tell him to gamble on flick-ons because defenders don’t like being put under pressure.
“I’m delighted for Sean and he deserved his match-winning goal,” said Mellon before adding: “But it would not be fair to single anyone out because to a man they all fought for Fleetwood Town.”
Wrexham boss Dean Saunders took defeat on the chin, saying: “It was always going to be a difficult place to get a result. They are a good team but we were unlucky.
“It was bit of a stalemate until three after half-time, and the goal was a terrible mistake.
“Frank (Sinclair) could have cleared it. Instead Maxie (Chris Maxwell) saved with his legs, and it’s gone back to their lad and in off the post. On another day it goes your way.
“But we remain in a good position, which means you are allowed a few hiccups like this one.”