Fleetwood in it to win it says Pressley

Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley is hoping his side can reap the rewards of a cup run after Town moved within 180 minutes of a Wembley final.

By Rob Stocks
Wednesday, 9th December 2015, 5:00 am
Steven Pressley is all smiles at full time
Steven Pressley is all smiles at full time

David Ball and Jimmy Ryan scored as Pressley's side cruised past Morecambe - claiming their fourth successive home win and setting up a two-leg showdown with Barnsley in the Northern Area Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Town dominated once more in front of their home crowd, Morecambe barely managing a shot on goal.

It did take Town time, more than an hour, to grind down their League Two opponents - a hat full of chances going begging before the break.

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But in the end their quality was made to count - Morecambe mistakes punished to send Town through.

And Pressley was delighted with the way they applied themselves and stuck to their task in a strong wind.

He said:"I said to the group at half time it was very similar conditions to the Millwall game where we had total domination.

"The conditions suited us better in the second half, we were able to slide things down the side, we could utilise our speed.

"The thing that pleased me most about the performance was that when you don't get the early breakthrough you can allow your belief and the way you play to deteriorate.

"We didn't.

"We continued to pass the ball and trust the way we play and in the end we got the all important breakthrough.

"I'm really pleased with the group, they've shown the right mentality and got the result."

Victory over Morecambe not only keeps Fleetwood on the road to Wembley but also extends their improving run under Pressley.

And the manager was pleased to exorcise the demons of defeat at Bloomfield Road - hailing both his goalscorers.

"Jimmy did really well with the first goal and David Ball gave us the kind of response you look for," said Pressley.

"With the second goal his press was fantastic, he pressurised the passing side extremely quickly, we broke and scored the all important second goal.

"I was really pleased with the whole group.

"It's been 10 days since the last game and it was important we got back to winning ways quickly.

"That's three wins in four for us which is a decent return and shows we're slowly but surely gaining that confidence."

Lee Johnson's Tykes stand between Fleetwood and a return to Wembley.

Town missed out on a JPT final spot two-years-ago, beaten by Chesterfield over two legs.

But they will fancy their chances this time around, Barnsley currently rock bottom of League One.

Not that Pressley is ready to start talking up his team's chances too much

"Barnsley will be a difficult game," said the Fleetwood boss.

"There's six or seven weeks before we play that tie, anything can happen in terms of the form guide.

"They've picked up in recent weeks.

"I know their manager well, we played together at Hearts.

"Actually he rang me before the game asking for a car park pass!

"Lee Johnson is a good friend of mine, he's a manager I respect but I'm sure it will be a very good tie."

Town are only in their fourth campaign as a Football League Club but have reached this stage of the JPT twice - an achievement which surprised the Fleetwood boss when quizzed.

Graham Alexander was at the helm when Town lost out to Chesterfield and Pressley is determined to go one better.

He said: "It's a fantastic achievement to get to this stage twice in three seasons.

"It's a competition clubs like us have the opportunity of winning.

"We put out our strongest 11 because we want to progress, we want to win it.

"It's very important we keep winning games

"For the supporters and all the staff it gives us something, in the second half of the season to look forward to.

"The key for us is survival this year but this is a bonus competition and one we'd love to win."

And he is in no doubt about the bounce a Wembley appearance would give his side, who remain in the League One relegation mix.

"It can give us a huge lift, especially if we get to the final," he said.

"It's exciting, all the player want to fight for their place at Wembley - they all want to be there.

"In that respect it's a great thing."