FLEETWOOD Town’s players agree they will have to win all six remaining fixtures to secure a play-off spot ... and Anthony Barry is convinced they can do it.
Several players have stated in recent interviews that only victories will suffice from here on if Town are to end their first Blue Square Bet Premier campaign in the top five, and midfielder Barry revealed his team-mates are all agreed upon that point.
Barry said: “Yes, we’ll have to win all six and I think we will. It’s something we’ve all talked about and I don’t think it’s asking too much.
“We deserve to finish in the top five because we have been in there for the majority of the season and have done ever so well in our first season at this level.
“We can definitely do it because we have the momentum from back-to-back wins and that is crucial at this stage.
“Kidderminster are fifth and still have to play us next month. That will be like a cup final but we have three more matches first, starting with Tamworth on Saturday.”
The Kidderminster clash aside, Town’s other remaining matches are all against clubs in the bottom nine. Town have often come unstuck against lowly opposition this season, but after a win at relegation-haunted Hayes and Yeading last Saturday which manager Micky Mellon labelled “thoroughly professional”, Barry reckons they may finally have mastered the art of beating the basement sides.
The 24-year-old added: “Maybe we have struggled against the lower sides because we weren’t used to teams putting ten men behind the ball against us. It’s not what you expect in your first season at this level. That has tested us but maybe the Hayes game showed we’ve worked out how to deal with it.”
If the Highbury newcomers have taken some Conference clubs by surprise, their success hasn’t shocked Barry, who dramatically pulled out a move to Wrexham in order to join Town in January last year after being released by Chester.
“As soon as I walked in I knew a lot of the lads and I could see the quality in the squad,” he said. “When we started pre-season, all the talk straight away was that we could finish in a play-off position. No-one outside the club thought we could do it but we knew we could.”
Barry has been a full-time footballer for most of his career, but asked which players have developed most in Town’s first season at non-league’s elite level he had quite a list.
“You have to think of the likes of Shaun Beeley, Junior Brown, Gareth Seddon and certainly Jamie McGuire, who has seen off players of the quality of Ian Craney and Steve Connors to make that midfield position his own.”
Barry added his own name to list but admitted he wasn’t being completely serious. “Maybe I’m not a better player than I was at the start of the season, but I’m in a happy place and enjoying everything about it, and that brings the best out of you.”