Fleetwood Town aces raring to go again after knocks
Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley is hopeful of Antoni Sarcevic returning to training today.
Midfielder Sarcevic picked up a knock in the 0-0 draw with Blackpool and had to be brought off with 20 minutes to go.
He was replaced by Shola Ameobi, who made a miraculous return to take a place on the bench just a month after picking up a hamstring injury in the 2-0 defeat to Barnsley.
Ameobi’s fellow sub David Ball also had to receive stitches after a strong Blackpool challenge.
And Pressley says former Newcastle United striker Ameobi will have a part to play in the final two games of Town’s relegation fight at Walsall on Monday and Crewe the following Sunday.
He said: “Sarcevic has got a knock but I hope he will return to training today.
“It was a collision. It was an impact knock and he will be fine.
“Sarce actually wanted to train on Wednesday but the physio decided that one more day would be beneficial, so he will train on Thursday.
“David Ball also got a very nasty gash in a challenge and has had a number stitches in his leg. I’m hoping he will return too.
“Shola, of course, will get a number of days under his belt, so generally we are getting closer.
“I think that the difficulty with only having two games left is that getting Shola up to speed physically to last the 90 minutes is nigh on impossible.
“We have pushed him back quickly and he will certainly have a part to play. But whether that is from the start, I’m not sure if he is quite ready for that.”
Defender Danny Andrew has been plagued by injuries since he joined the club from Macclesfield Town in 2014.
The left-back’s last game for Town was in the 5-1 defeat by Gillingham back in September.
He has been out of action with an ankle injury ever since but manager Pressley was pleased he featured in the development squad’s 5-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday.
He joined fellow defender Joe Davis, who has also just recovered from an ankle injury, in Barry Nicholson’s development team.
And Pressley says the return of the defensive duo and the form of attacker Nick Haughton, who fired home four times in that 5-1 win, has given him a good headache ahead of Monday’s crunch clash at Walsall.
Pressley said: “Danny Andrew played for 45 minutes for the first time in months, which was positive.
“We also have young Nick Haughton, who is a player I rate really highly. I have been on at him about improving certain aspects of his game and improving his intensity. He did that and I think he has been doing that over the last few weeks.
“I’ve seen great improvements in him and he scored four on Tuesday against Wolverhampton, so he also pushes himself forward to try and stake his claim, which is good.
“It is positive that players are returning from injury and that there are players in the development group giving me an added headache.
“I think they will certainly be pushing for a place. That is why we play them in these games.
“You have to look at Bobby Grant. When he was out through suspension, he played in a number of games. He performed well in those games and so I take that into consideration all the time.
“That is why you play, that is why you train – to impress the manager. And as a result of that you try to play your way into the team.”
Pressley was not impressed with Grant’s reaction to being substituted in the draw with Blackpool but he says the striker has now apologised to him and will be in contention for Walsall.
He said: “Bobby apologised to me about the situation and that is it done.
“I made my point to him after the game because I am a manager who is hugely demanding of the squad but also I am hugely respectful of the squad.
“Relationships are two-way. They are reciprocal and I expect the same respect I give my players to be given to myself and staff.
“Bobby understands that. He apologised and it is finished now.”