Town wait on Haughton injury

Josh Morris celebrates the winner against Rochdale
Josh Morris celebrates the winner against Rochdale
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Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is waiting to find out the extent of the damage to rising star Nick Haughton following Saturday’s 1-0 home victory over Rochdale.

Josh Morris scored his third goal in as many games as eighth-placed Town remained just two points outside the League One play-off spots.

But the victory came at a price, midfielder Haughton leaving Highbury in a medical boot after a crunching first-half challenge win Andy Cannon.

And the Fleetwood boss believes his young gun may have been a target for Dale’s midfield enforcers.

Alexander said: “He took a bit of a battering. It looked like there were a few tackles on him that showed they’d identified his talent.

“I don’t think there was real malice in the tackle. It was just a young player being a little over-exuberant and looking to make his mark on the game.

“Unfortunately Nick’s left in a boot and is probably going for some X-rays on his foot.

“We left it until half-time but we could see he was struggling. Hopefully we’ll get a positive outcome.”

Cannon was involved in another strong challenge in the second half, sending goalscorer Morris tumbling on the touchline.

Having been booked for the challenge on Haughton, Alexander believes the Dale man should have been handed his marching orders.

“It’s a yellow card, simple as that,” he added. “If you look at our bookings in recent weeks, every time we’ve done a challenge like that it’s a yellow card.

“We don’t want to see players sent off but we do want to see an even hand.

“Three minutes later we pick up a yellow card for pulling a shirt, but we’ll let that tackle go because it’s a great win for us.”

The win took Town past the 50-point mark– often seen as a benchmark for survival – but Alexander refused to be drawn into talk of league tables.

He said: “We’re still keeping our feet on the ground, looking at the gap between us and the bottom clubs.

“We want to get to the point where League One status is secured, and when we get there hopefully there will still be a lot of points to play for.”

What was cause for celebration for the manager was his team’s first back-to-back wins since August.

And that mattered more to him than the high-profile victory at Sheffield United seven days earlier.

He said: “That was important. This is a bigger win for us that last weekend.

“It’s the first time since the start of the season we’ve won back-to-back games.

“In the first 45 minutes we weren’t at the races. I’ll take a little bit of responsibility for that.

“I wanted to try a different formation at home and it didn’t work for us.

“Second half we went back to what we’ve played before and the players looked more comfortable.”

Rochdale boss Keith Hill left some sour grapes behind after taking a pot-shot at Fleetwood’s perceived spending power.

Town have done the double over Dale this season and Hill said: “What I spend this season makes an impact on what I spend next season, not like some clubs in this division.

“Look at Fleetwood – what they spend this season doesn’t make any impact on what they spend the next. I’m not afforded that luxury.

“I like doing things my way, and if we can make an impact at the top we will do.

“We’ve still got two games in hand on a lot of teams and we’re still looking upwards.”