Nilsson’s goal for Fleetwood survival

Marcus Nilsson
Marcus Nilsson
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Marcus Nilsson has made clear the need for goals and wins after making his Fleetwood Town debut last weekend.

The big Swede was introduced to League One action earlier than expected – coming on as a substitute for Nathan Pond in the goalless draw with Shrewsbury Town.

And with Town in the throes of a full-blown injury crisis, the 27-year-old may be required again before he’s had time to fully acclimatise.

Fleetwood may have only Nilsson and Stephen Jordan fit to play at centre-half for Saturday’s trip to Port Vale, with midfield Steven Pressley scrambling to bring in loan reinforcements in midfield and at the back.

And with the Highbury club in the thick of a relegation battle, one-time Sweden international Nilsson knows Fleetwood have to find their form and fast.

“It’s good to play football again,” Nilsson said. “It’s just disappointing we didn’t get three points on Sunday.

“We didn’t play good enough and the chances we were producing weren’t enough.

“A point is good but we want to win games. We didn’t do that.

“We need to get some three points. Unfortunately we didn’t manage that on Saturday but it needs to happen.”

Nilsson’s appearance for Fleetwood was his first in competitive football in more than two months.

And it came out of the blue, the defender having expected more time to get himself up to speed.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played games,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to coming here to England and playing football.

“I wasn’t expecting to get on. We had a lot of injuries in the team and I ended up on the bench.

“Then we had one more injury. It was fun. I need to train a little bit more to be really fit but it was OK.”

But having enjoyed a taste of the action, and been given an idea of the pace, Nilsson is raring to go, ready to potentially make his first start in English football at Vale Park.

“The Swedish season ended in November last year,” he explained. “You need time to get back into it, with the timing and the ball touch and everything like that.

“I hope I can get a run now. I’ve come here to play. That’s what I want.

“My fitness level is good. I’ve been training quite hard by myself over the last few months.

“But it’s all about playing football. I need to play games and coming to the level here I just need to play.”

And having played in the top flight in Scandinavia for Helsingborgs, Nilsson believes he’ll handle the rigours of League One, having been given the most difficult introduction battling into the teeth of a Highbury gale and driving rain.

“It’s difficult to judge the level,” he said. “It’s hard to say from Sunday because of the pitch and the rain and everything.

“But the intensity is very high. I think there are couple of good players in League One and I’m looking forward to it.”

Fleetwood are struggling for bodies both at the back and in central midfield.

Joe Davis is nursing a leg injury sustained in last week’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Barnsley.

He was forced to play through the pain after sustaining an injury during a scramble in the box, Town having already made three changes in the Northern Area final.

Pond’s injury has exacerbated the situation.

In midfield, Eggert Jonsson is the most likely to return for the Valiants clash.

Jimmy Ryan and Antoni Sarcevic are longer term concerns, both having pulled out with injuries the manager this week blamed on “over-use”.

Town haven’t won since January 2, when they beat Bury at Highbury.

Steven Pressley’s side are fourth-bottom of League One but remain in touch with their rivals – Town have at least one game in hand on each of the five clubs immediately above, them, including Blackpool who are four points and three places better off.