Lee Fowler expects he is suddenly the least popular person in Wrexham but Fleetwood Town’s latest signing does not care one bit.
The midfielder made his Town debut in Tuesday’s 4-1 home win over Barrow barely 24 hours after leaving title rivals Wrexham for Highbury.
Selling a key player to their main rivals for promotion to the Football League was hardly part of the Welsh club’s business plan, but Town met the fee specified in the 28-year-old’s release clause – and manager Andy Morrell was anxious to offload an unsettled player who submitted a transfer request last month.
And Fowler has not regrets, saying: “It has been a long, drawn-out affair but I’m glad to be here now and playing for Fleetwood.
“I’ve made a football
decision which I believe is
the best for me.
“I know Wrexham people aren’t happy. But I’m happy and my missus is happy. That’s what matters and I’m here to be a credit to the team.”
Morrell has come to terms with the shock development, saying: “It (the fee) met our expectations I suppose, although I’m a bit disappointed because I didn’t really want to sell him to Fleetwood, but they were the only club to make an offer.
“It was decent enough, so we took it and I didn’t really want him here any longer than we had to.
“He had a £20,000 release clause in his contract and they were above that, but it will stay undisclosed and it’s done and dusted for me.”
Having spent an hour battling to keep warm on the bench on Tuesday, Fowler came on with Town 3-1 up against the Cumbrians and helped them close out the victory.
The former Wales Under-21 international said: “It’s brilliant to start with a win because that’s always a monkey on your back for a new player.
“Sometimes it’s best to be chucked in at the deep end and I didn’t even train with the team before the Barrow match.
“But football is football, no matter whether you are in England, Spain or Italy. It’s 11 v 11 and as soon as we get out on the field it just comes naturally to us.”
Manager Micky Mellon saw plenty to build on for Fowler and Danny Rose, who scored on his his full debut in the midweek match.
Mellon said: “Danny looked at times like he needed games and the same with Lee.
“They have not played for a while and this was an opportunity for them to get good matchtime under their belts. They will both be big players for us in the last 19 games.”
Though newly arrived, Fowler knows plenty about his new team-mates – he played against them in Wrexham’s 2-0 win at the Racecourse in August – and realises he faces major competition for a starting place.
“I have a lot of mates in the team and have played against them as rivals,” he added.
“There’s definitely a lot of competition in midfield, with Jamie McGuire and some young players who were not even in the 16 on Tuesday.
“I know I’ll need to work hard, and when I get the chance I’ll hopefully keep the shirt.
“But I’d have thought I’ll bring a bit or organisation and experience, and definitely calmness on the ball. And hopefully I’ll play a lot of good football.”
INTERVIEW: DAVID MITCHELL