LEADING scorer Magno Vieira could be back to lead the line for Fleetwood Town tomorrow, away to table toppers AFC Wimbledon, after being axed from the starting line-up for Tuesday night’s defeat at Histon.
Manager Micky Mellon raised eyebrows at Histon, when the Brazilian, who has netted 17 times this season, was dropped to the bench, though he did come on as a second half substitute in the shock 1-0 reverse against the Blue Square Bet Premier’s bottom club.
Mellon said he had been unhappy with Vieira’s work-rate during last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers at Highbury.
The Fleetwood boss said: “I have never dropped a player because he played well!
“Magno didn’t work hard enough against Forest Green, and never showed that he was going to score a goal.
“I brought on Danny Rowe and Gareth Seddon to play up front in that game, and they took their chance, and so earned the right to play from the start against Histon – I think Magno would agree they earned that chance.
“Magno is a good lad and he accepted the decision, and I was happy with the way he responded when we brought him on against Histon.
“In fact, Magno was one of the plus points for us against Histon.”
The 1-0 loss against a side struggling to stay in the league was a big blow.
Fleetwood remain in the play-off places after the Histon reverse, but Mellon bemoaned his side’s lack of consistency.
Though in position to reach the end of season play-offs, Fleetwood have now lost away from home at a number of struggling clubs – the loss at Histon came in the wake of defeats away to Altrincham, Southport and Forest Green.
Mellon said: “We have to learn the lessons from Tuesday night.
“Before the match, I asked the players to make sure that they did not give Histon a goal start – and that’s what happened.
“We gave a goal away after 13 minutes with a short back-pass and it changed the game – Histon went to a 4-5-1 formation after that and we were never going to pull that back against a side scrapping for their lives. I stress we are a side with loads of ability and invention, but we did not show it against Histon.
“We need to find consistency, and the only two sides who are showing that in our league right now are Luton and Crawley.
“AFC Wimbledon lost 4-1 to York City on Tuesday night – and York had lost 4-0 to Southport the previous Saturday.
“That is the sort of league we are playing in.”
Fleetwood have a really tough fixture schedule – after Wimbledon, they face two more away trips to Luton and York. They will travel to Wimbledon tomorrow without striker Seddon, who has been laid low by tonsilitis. On the plus side, experienced Sean Gregan is fit again to return to the heart of the Fleetwood defence, after shaking off a groin strain.
Shaun Beeley is recovering well from an abductor strain, but Mellon is unwilling to take a risk with him.
Wimbledon retained top spot in the table, despite their 4-1 loss at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday.
Terry Brown, the Dons boss, bemoaned the side’s hectic travel schedule.
“This was always one trip too far – it was too much of an ask. It was difficult to watch a side with no legs, and we had nothing on the bench.
“We’ve done 2,000 miles recently, and it was too much to hope for that we could win here after trips to Darlington, Bath, Fleetwood and Gateshead.”
It is a quick re-match between Fleetwood and Wimbledon.
The two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at Highbury last month, though Fleetwood regarded it as two points dropped, given the amount of territory they enjoyed in the second half.