FLEETWOOD Town visit Northampton Town tomorrow for a vital League Two clash which could have an impact on the promotion picture.
Town are preparing to welcome back long-serving Nathan Pond back to Highbury from Grimsby Town.
Pond was instrumental in Town’s astronomic rise up the divisions to the Football League, but was loaned out to Grimsby at the start of the campaign without playing in the Football League.
He has been an influential figure with the Mariners during his loan spell at Blundell Park, helping them to the top of the Conference.
Pond’s successful association on loan with Grimsby is due to end with tomorrow’s clash with Hereford.
Grimsby will see the central defender or midfielder leave with a heavy heart, as Pond’s stability has meant that the team boasts the best defensive record in the Conference.
By all accounts, Pond did not impress sufficiently in pre-season training and warm-up games at Fleetwood and so was allowed to go to Grimsby for regular football. With a new manager – Graham Alexander – now in charge at Highbury, Pond could well get a second chance to prove himself.
Grimsby say they would like to find ways and means of keeping, but it all depends on Fleetwood’s thinking. Joint-manager Paul Hurst said: “Nathan will play his last game on Saturday and after that he’ll be going back to Fleetwood unless they suddenly change their minds
“They’ve made it clear they want him back involved, so how that pans out, we’ll have to wait and see.
“He may well go into their team, so if he does I’m sure he’ll be happy to go there and play under a new manager.”
Fleetwood’s priority is to carry on the excellent work of New Year’s Day when they won 2-0 at Port Vale to fire a warning shot to the rest of the division.
Alexander said: “We have to be pleased with the points that we picked up over the holiday period. It was an important period for us because the games come thick and fast.
“The players did things right when they were away from the club, and it was pleasing they had that attitude.”
Fleetwood have been busy in the early days of the transfer window, with three new arrivals – and there could be more, according to the Fleetwood boss. Alexander anticipates a couple more players arriving for unspecified departments.
He said: “We are looking at maybe one or two players to improve the squad.”
The three signings were Gareth Evans, Mozesh Gyorio and David Lucas – the last-named will double as a goalkeeper and coach to the club’s existing stoppers Scott Davies and Chris Maxwell. Wide-man Evans has not played competitive match for a month and could be short of match fitness. In addition, it is unlikely that Alexander would be keen to tinker with a winning side if Town are injury-free.
Ironically, Gyorio was brought to the club by former manager Micky Mellon after an approach from the player’s representative for a trial at Fleetwood. He impressed new manager Alexander so much that he earned a contract until the end of the campaign.