Town fit for fresh challenge

Eastbourne v Fleetwood'By Derick Thomas'Magno Vieira bursts through for second
Eastbourne v Fleetwood'By Derick Thomas'Magno Vieira bursts through for second

IT may have been a gruelling baptism in the top-flight of non-league football but delighted Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon says his side are looking “as fresh as daisies” for the four-match run-in after their 6-0 victory at Eastbourne.

“If you have to make a 337-mile journey, you want to do it after a 6-0 win,” said Mellon, whose side are clinging determinedly to the final play-off spot in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

While admitting to having a few injury concerns ahead of the game, Mellon knows there’s nothing healthier than an emphatic win at this stage of the season.

The manager said: “Nathan Pond missed out after a fitness test on the morning of the game and a few others were touch and go. But they stood up to be counted because they knew how important this game was and right through the side there were magnificent performances.

“We have players champing at the bit to play. We want to win games and make the play-offs. We are heading in right direction.

“We knew the conditions would be very difficult at Eastbourne, with the wind and a bobbly pitch, but credit to the boys. They shared the goals around and kept a clean sheet, and we are delighted with a good day’s work.”

Mellon was delighted to have avenged February’s home defeat by relegation-haunted Eastbourne and to have boosted their goal difference. They are now eight goals better off than Kidderminster and seven better off than York, who are both in pursuit with a game in hand.

Mellon added: “It was also important that Eastbourne did not do the double over us but it’s a massive three points and we want to keep winning games.

“Goal difference will be huge as well. There will be loads more twists and turns and there will be no easy games at this stage.

“You have to make sure that when chances come your way you are ruthless and take them, and we did on Saturday.”

Keigan Parker got the ball rolling with the opener and earned a tribute from Mellon.

“Keigan is a good player, which is why we worked so hard to bring him here,” he said.

“We think he should be playing higher than this level. He has all the attributes and we just have to make sure we keep making demands of him because he is capable of winning games for us, as we have seen.

“We got the goals at good times and that kind of killed Eastbourne’s spirit and knocked the fight out of them.”

A delighted Mellon saved his final words of praise for the Fleetwood fans undaunted by a round trip of close to 700 miles.

“They are fantastic. You could see they were enjoying it and were right behind the team. I’m delighted we could give them a victory to take back up the road and something to remember.

“They know we will keep going. There are still difficult games ahead and we will enjoy this victory as we always say because they are so hard to come by at this level.

“Now we look forward to a massive following from the Cod Army on a bowling green of a pitch against Altrincham on Saturday.”

INTERVIEW: DAVID MITCHELL