Pressley: Smallest team ever stood tall for Town

The Fleetwood Town players observe a minutes silence after last weeks terror attacks in Belgium  Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport
The Fleetwood Town players observe a minutes silence after last weeks terror attacks in Belgium Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport
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Manager Steven Pressley praised the bravery of a Fleetwood Town side he labelled “the smallest in Football League history” as they earned a goalless draw at Chesterfield.

Pressley’s patched-up young team was small in stature but big in heart and picked up a vital point against their fellow strugglers.

The draw left 19th-placed Town three points clear of the bottom four, though they would find themselves outside the drop zone on goal difference only if Blackpool and Oldham were to win today.

Pressley recalled on-loan Everton forward David Henen alongside David Ball and Ash Hunter in an attacking line-up.

Six of Town’s starting 11 were below 6ft tall but they picked up a first clean sheet in eight games and ended a run of three defeats.

Pressley had hoped for victory but hailed his side. He said: “Our goal was to win despite having the smallest height average in Football League history. We were a very small team and to play that way we had to be brave.

“We kept passing and doing the things that we want to do. We set up with a number 10 and two strikers, and we really went to Chesterfield to win the game and score goals.

“I think we created unbelievable moments but our final shot or our final decision let us down.

“We had great opportunities and countered really well. I was really pleased. I think there was a lot of positives from the performance.

“A point away from home in this league is genuinely a good point but I wanted to go to Chesterfield and win.

“I felt this was a real chance for us to take the three points and that is my biggest disappointment –not the performance, the attitude of the players or our bravery, just the final result.”

With eight games to go Pressley says his side need to be more clinical in front of goal.

With no second Easter game due to scheduled visitors Peterborough having three players on international duty, Pressley says his squad will work to be more clinical.

He said: “We were positive in our set-up and everything we did. The only thing that let us down was the final moment.

“We have crucial games coming up and we have to ensure we win probably another three or four.

“We’ve had a lot of clean sheets and we have good defensive organisation. We work very hard on that, and if we can just add the potency at the other end of the pitch I believe we can be a really good team.

“We have to win games and be really positive in our play, which we were.

“I was really pleased with the way we handled the occasion.”

Pressley was forced to make five changes to the side that lost to Barnsley last Saturday.

Shola Ameobi, Joe Davis and Antoni Sarcevic were all injured, with Wes Burns (Wales U21) and Conor McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) on international duty.

But captain Nathan Pond was able to take a place on the bench after his thigh injury.

With the Posh game rearranged for a week tomorrow, Town are next in action at Swindon on Saturday and Pressley has mixed feelings.

He said: “We want to continue with the momentum and energy, and we would have loved to play again on Monday.

“But of course we’ll have Wes and Conor back, and the injured players will have a greater chance to be back for our next game.

“We have got a lot of injuries and were reliant on a lot of young players at Chesterfield. I thought they did themselves proud.”