Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander believes his squad is capable of ‘gatecrashing’ the top six in League One.
Town take on Rochdale this afternoon looking to continue their positive start to the new campaign.
Despite losing nearly 2,000 minutes worth of Football League experience from the squad over the summer, Alexander’s young side have shown their quality already this term.
And with some of the big guns gone from the third tier this season, Alexander thinks the door may be open for some new names in the shake-up.
The manager said: “It will be tight until teams start to establish what form they are in and then it starts to affect the opposition. If a team is up there winning for five months, they’ve got a positive mindset and their opponents a negative one. I don’t think we’re at that yet.
“There are obviously a couple of massive clubs in this division, like Sheffield United and Barnsley.
“But three big clubs have been promoted from the division - Preston, Bristol City and MK Dons.
“I think there’s an opportunity there for two or three clubs to gatecrash that top six.
“I think we could be one of 10 or 12 clubs looking to do that. But as always we’ll just focus on ourselves.”
Town won’t get drawn into trying to keep up with the Joneses, some of their League One rivals having spent big in the summer in the hunt for promotion.
Alexander hasn’t paid out a penny in transfer fees and will focus instead on getting the most out of his hungry players.
“It’s no good looking what other clubs are doing elsewhere,” he said.
“We’ll just work and see what we have to do to improve the squad we have.
“That’s not in terms of additions - that’s the players we have. We’ll continue to work like that.”
With Alexander determined to play a more expansive game this campaign, Town’s strikeforce will have a key role to play.
None of the five battling for a start is over the age of 25 and Alexander is loving seeing his young guns scrap for places.
“I don’t see it as a headache,” he said.
“It’s a position the manager wants to be in.
“If you’ve got 11 fit players there’s no choice to make.
“I’d rather have 18 or 20 scrapping like hell to get in the team.
“You have to make tough decisions and that’s what we do every Friday.
“We’ve got some good young strikers, who we feel are competing and pushing each other.
“They are all off the mark, except Vamara (Sanogo), who is injured. “It’s a healthy situation for the club. It’s up to them who gets in there.
“If they keep getting into those goalscoring positions, they’ll keep doing what they are good at.”