Fleetwood Town defender Ryan Cresswell insists momentum is key as the club prepare for the long trip to Portsmouth.
The centre-half, who has skippered Town in their last three outings, has never played at Fratton Park before but is looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd – Pompey have more than 10,000 season ticket holders, twice the maximum gate Fleetwood could cram into Highbury.
And the 25-year-old knows preparations need to be spot on.
“It’s a long trip,” admitted Cresswell. “I’ve never played at Portsmouth before, so I’ll look forward to it.
“We’ll have a solid week’s training to prepare right.
“I think we’ll tick all the boxes in preparing for it and if we can keep this momentum going we’ve got a good chance.
The former Bury, Southend and Rotherham defender is delighted to have led Town out in back-to-back home wins, having first taken the armband in the 2-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Tranmere.
And he’s been impressed by the attitude of his team-mates, having joined the club just days before the big kick- off.
Cresswell said: “The lads have been showing their professionalism in the approach to the games and on the pitch we are doing as the gaffer is asking, and at the moment it’s working. Long may that continue.”
“I had a good couple of years at Bury. The fans gave me a nice reception on Saturday, which I thank them for.
“But we dominated the play, even in the first half we dominated. I think they had one shot on target.
“We came out after the break and put on a show for the fans.”
Three wins from four at Highbury – already nearly half the entire total for last season– have seen Fleetwood climb into third spot in League Two, four points behind leaders Chesterfield.
And Cresswell knows just how important it is to keep up that record, with the fear it strikes into opponents.
He told The Gazette: “It’s been said before but I think we need to make this place a fortress.
“We want away fans and teams to get up on a Saturday and think, ‘I don’t fancy that.’
“Teams are coming here now – the way Bury set up at the weekend shows this – and showing us a bit of respect.
“They were getting men behind the ball and making it hard for us to break them down.
“But we did it and it was a great performance.”
A stunning strike from Antoni Sarcevic levelled things on Saturday – a sign, says Cresswell, of the superb form the 21-year-old midfielder is currently in.
“I don’t think he’ll ever hit better in his life,” he said.
“Before the keeper dived it was in the back of the net.
“He’s on fire right now and let’s hope it carries on.
“It was a great finish, that’s enough to change any game.”
Despite Sarcevic stealing the headlines against the Shakers, Cresswell believes any one of the Fleetwood side that afternoon could have taken the man of the match accolade.
He said: “We were strong and resilient in our defending.
“That was all the way through the team.
“The big man up front (Jamille Matt) had a fantastic game and it showed through the whole team.
“Any player for us on Saturday could have gone home with a bottle of champagne.
“That’s a fantastic thing to have in the dressing room.”