THE competition for places at Fleetwood Town is hotting up ahead of Saturday’s visit to Ebbsfleet as the early-season injury crisis eases.
After Shaun Beeley and Andrew Mangan made successful returns in last weekend’s win over Gateshead, manager Micky Mellon reports that widemen Junior Brown and Shaun Clancy have been back in full training this week.
Left-back Brown was close to a comeback at Kettering but suffered a setback following his knee ligament problem. Brown’s availability could put pressure on new signing Paul Edwards for his place, though the 31-year-old has done his utmost to make his presence felt in his seven games since signing from Barrow.
The former Seasider revealed he is a big talker on the pitch and had plenty to say to Saturday’s goalscorers Mangan and Jamie Vardy ... though he is quite pleased the former ignored his advice.
Mangan broke the deadlock with a superb long-range thunderbolt and Edwards admits: “To be honest, when he turned and hit the ball I was shouting at him, ‘What are you doing?’
“I saw the ball flying through the air and next thing I was congratulating him! He’s a good player and I should never have doubted!”
And what are Edwards’ words of wisdom for latest recruit Vardy, a two-goal hero two matches running?
“The boy is flying. He’s really unselfish as well and you can see that in his workrate for the team. Sometimes I have to tell him to save his legs a little but he does well. It can only help us if he is banging the goals in.”
And as long as he stays in the side, Edwards won’t be keeping his opinions to himself. He added: “Being one of the experienced players means that’s part of my job.
“It’s good to pass on what I’ve learned over the years through football. That helps me sometimes see things they don’t and the lads always respond to the advice.”