MANAGER Micky Mellon has warned that Fleetwood Town’s high-flying season could end in a crashlanding unless they find some consistency fast.
A demanding run of four successive away games has yielded just three points – from last Saturday’s outstanding 3-1 win Luton. The other three road trips ended in 1-0 defeats, the latest a frustrating evening in York on Tuesday.
Fleetwood are still clinging to the final play-off spot in Blue Square Bet Premier, but with the chasing pack poised to capitalise on games in hands Mellon knows there’s only one way to keep a grip on Town’s top-five place.
“The word is consistency,” he said. “We spoke about it before the York game, and the lads have to find some level somewhere for us to work from and build a platform from. At the minute we are one extreme or the other.
“The players have to take the responsibility and try to find that consistency, otherwise we aren’t going to do anything.”
Whereas Mellon had taken plenty of positives from the slender defeat at Wimbledon but precious few from the one at Histon, Tuesday’s display was somewhere between the two but still left the manager full of frustration.
“We lost the battles in too many key areas, and this game looked beyond players who had been heroes on Saturday. We came here to do a good professional job and it was a case of job done at half-time.
“There had been no clear cut chances for either side in the first half, but we had two wingers on and we knew that the game would get stretched second half and that we would get our opportunities.
“But three minutes in we don’t contest a ball punched to the edge of the box by Scott (Davies), and someone goes to sleep and leaves the man in the box onside. Then it’s 1-0 and a different game.”
At least one player escaped Mellon’s criticism. He added: “We never really looked like getting back into it until Lee Thorpe came on and gave us a bit of a physical presence.
“We kept throwing attacker after attacker on to try to give us a spark. We wanted someone to give us that bit of magic and open it up but it wasn’t to be.
“Jamie Milligan had that late free-kick and hit the target, which is all you can ask, but there were a lot of times before that when we could have resurrected it.”
Thorpe himself could take little satisfaction from a contribution which failed to yield an equaliser, and he hopes that the return to Highbury for the next two games – against Grimsby, one of his former teams, and bottom club Eastbourne – will have a positive affect.
The striker said: “I tried to hold the ball up, get a few flick-ons and help the team at York, but it was just another of those nights. It has been a hard few weeks, with overnight stays and trips south, but it’s the same for everyone.
“It would be nice to get one over on one of my old teams on Saturday, and two home wins will get us right back on track.”
Mellon also welcomes the return to some home comforts at Highbury but added: “Yes, it has been a tough spell but that’s football.
“Your players have to be able to adapt to conditions because every game is different, but too many of our players and finding that difficult.
“We have to work on that and keep at them. It was a disappointing night on the road again on Tuesday but we will regroup.”