Don’t play blame games

Jeff Hughes
Jeff Hughes
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Town are now averaging less than a goal a game, having drawn a blank last weekend at Bristol City.

Hughes, whose natural attacking flair has been tamed in his conversion to a holding midfielder, admits the figures in the goals scored column are frustrating but believes Fleetwood, under Graham Alexander, have a solid foundation on which to build.

“I don’t want to be too harsh,” he said.

“We’ve got one of the best defences in the division, we just need to get ourselves a few more goals from all over the place.

“If we can do that we’ll pick up more points.

“We’ve got a good solid base, we can build on that.”

The last goal scored by a striker for Fleetwood Town was on November 1 when Tom Hitchcock found the net against Gillingham.

David Ball, Jamie Proctor and Stephen Dobbie have all gone close to ending that lean run in recent weeks.

But Hughes insists it would be simplistic to believe the buck stops with them

“It’s easy just to blame the forwards,” said the 29-year-old former Northern Ireland international.

“You have to ask if we’re creating enough chances for them.

“You can’t just point the finger.

“There’s a lot of things to look at but we know the gaffer and his staff are doing everything they can.”

Fleetwood face Peterborough United tomorrow, one of the teams competing against them to seal a play-off spot.

Hughes knows Darren Ferguson’s Posh side is packed with quality - having run out narrow victors at London Road earlier in the campaign.

He said: “You’d probably have put them up with the top two or three at the start of the season.

“It’s definitely not gone as well as they would have expected.

“But we’re not going to be under any illusion it’s going to be an easy game.

“They’ve got a good squad, a good manager in Darren Ferguson and they are well backed too so it’s going to be a test for us.”

But he believes Fleetwood are capable of finding the net, making their mark and staying in touch at the top, taking confidence from their win over Crawley a fortnight ago.

“We’ll take every little bit of confidence we can get.

“You know what it’s like, you just want to build up a bit of a head of steam.

“We’re just trying to build slowly, build it from the back, do it the right way.

“We want to mix it up, play a bit of football and grow as a team and as a club.”

“A win the other week took us into sixth, now we’re in 11th.

“It’s very close, it’s very tight but that means we’re still in with a shout.

“If we can just keep doing what we are doing then hopefully it will be enough.”