Fleetwood Town boss backs former Ipswich Town defender to shine at Highbury

Fleetwood Town head coach Stephen Crainey was happy to have landed Toto Nsiala after the Cod Army confirmed his arrival yesterday.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Nsiala joined the club from Ipswich Town on a free transfer, having fallen out of favour at Portman Road.

The 29-year-old is available for selection this afternoon as Fleetwood welcome League One leaders Rotherham United to Highbury (3pm).

Crainey is delighted to have added depth to his squad, given the club’s injury situation, and is hoping that it keeps the other players on their toes.

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Fleetwood Town head coach Stephen Crainey Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

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He said: “He’s got good experience at this level, he’s played at some big clubs and I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings.

“He’s really dominant in both boxes and he can play the ball on the ground so I’m delighted to get it over the line.

“With the personnel that we have available, we don’t have many fit centre-halves.

“Darnell Johnson and Harrison Holgate are two with long-term injuries.

“It’s nice to get players of Toto’s calibre into the building.

“It’s nice to get people in, I want selection headaches and I want competition for places in the squad.

“Signing more players brings that, so it gives us healthy competition and keeps people on their toes and so they have to be at it every day in training.”

Born in Zaire and having also lived in France, Nsiala moved to Liverpool where he was spotted by Everton’s youth set-up.

Moving to Fleetwood brings him nearer to home – though there was also a reminder of Ipswich waiting for him at Highbury.

Fellow new boy Ellis Harrison played alongside Nsiala at Portman Road and Crainey understands how helpful it can be to know another player in a new dressing room.

He said: “He’s going to be at home. He won’t be away from home anymore so hopefully it helps him settle in quite quick – that is the ideal scenario.

“It’s a good changing room and he’s going to be made very welcome at the club, so hopefully he can get going right from the off.

“It’s not nice when you go in and don’t know anybody but for him, going into the changing room, it’s nice to see him connecting with someone straight away.

“It won’t just be Ellis though, he’ll connect with everybody because it’s a top group.”

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