Fleetwood assistant boss Kelly says competition for places is a recipe for success

They have six forwards all desperate for a starting spot and Fleetwood assistant boss Rob Kelly says that competitive mix is a recipe for success.

Thursday, 11th January 2018, 6:00 pm
Fleetwood have more forward options now that Conor McAleny is back

Town head to Southend United on Saturday with a plethora of options up front with new boy Paddy Madden raring to make his debut.

Conor McAleny impressed in the 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy win at Bury – in which Jordy Hiwula netted twice.

The front three that started the 0-0 FA Cup draw against Leicester City are all in form so head coach Uwe Rosler has a selection headache.

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However, Kelly stressed it is not just up front where Town are strong with Bobby Grant making his comeback from a knee injury at Bury and Toumani Diagouraga adding more options in the middle.

Defender Gethin Jones could also make his debut after joining from Everton.

He said: “Good players thrive on competition – and we think we have got some good players here!

“It was good that Conor got over an hour under his belt because he has been out for a while.

“I always think when you bring new players in and good new players in that they give the players and staff and supporters a lift.

“The chairman has allowed us to bring Toumani, Paddy and Gethin in who are a bit more experienced because it is well documented we have a young group.

“Our senior players have done well this year to try and blend with the younger players and it is good we have got a couple with Gethin to try and get that balance right.

“Where we have people with a few more games under their belts to help the younger ones through.

“It increases competition for places which is always a good thing.

“Training has a bit of an edge to it because there is always two more competing for spots which is good.

“We have got seven games in 22 days so people will get opportunities and they have to be ready.

“On Tuesday (at Bury) two or three definitely grabbed their opportunity and were impressive so what you want to do is give the manager a problem in the right way.”

There is also competition between the sticks with Alex Cairns making a number of good saves at Bury on his return to the starting line-up.

Though in that four game absence, his replacement Chris Neal has kept two clean sheets so it would be harsh if he lost his spot.

Speaking on the two keepers Kelly said: “Again, coming back to that word – competition – the better the player they thrive on that.

“It inspires them and gives them that edge.”