Jamie Proctor must improve his consistency to advance his career, Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley has warned.
Proctor, the hero of Fleetwood’s last League One victory at Barnsley three weeks ago, was hauled off at half-time in last Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at Walsall and rested for Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Sheffield United.
The striker is likely to return to the Fleetwood ranks for this afternoon’s trip to Peterborough, but Pressley made it clear he won’t tolerate the kind of on/off displays which have made Proctor frustrating to manage.
“It’s up to me to get the best out of these players,” said Pressley. “Part of the manager’s job – probably the biggest part – is to maximise his resources. What Proc needs to realise is that he can’t have a game on and a game off.
“I know the striker position is a creative position. The hardest thing is creating opportunities and goals, I realise that, but there has to be a degree of consistency.
“He has very good attributes but needs to show them on a more consistent basis.
“If he can do that, there’s no doubt he can perform at a higher level.”
Despite these concerns, Pressley stressed he has been impressed by Proctor’s reaction and the way he has applied himself at Poolfoot Farm ahead of this afternoon’s clash.
“He’s certainly come back into the reckoning,” said Pressley. “I was probably a little bit disappointed in his performance at Walsall. I took him off at half-time.
“When you do that to a player, the most important thing is their reaction. The reaction I look for is that they apply themselves really well and want to get back into the team. I think he’s done that.”
Town failed to find the net in normal time on Tuesday but pulled off a convincing penalty shoot-out win in the regional quarter-finals of the JPT.
The semi-final draw takes place this morning, with ties scheduled for the second week of next month.
Pressley will be hoping his side, boosted by the arrival of David Henen and Tarique Fosu on loan, can to end their lean spell in the league at London Road.
He said: “When you’ve won on Tuesday, it gives the place another lift with the introduction of two very good young players. Hopefully we can build momentum from here.”
Fleetwood can lift themselves out of the drop zone with a win and Pressley is confident the club is moving forward under his stewardship
“There’s many things moving in the right direction,” he said. “But we still need to be more creative in the final third, more productive.
“I’m very confident that will come. We’re creating the moments, as we did on Tuesday night. We just need to be more clinical.”