Fleetwood Town boss is the perfect mentor for Highbury midfielders

Josh Vela says Fleetwood Town’s exciting new midfield has an ideal mentor in head coach Scott Brown.

By Andy Moore
Friday, 29th July 2022, 12:30 pm

Vela has already formed a productive pre-season partnership in the middle of the pitch with a fellow new signing, Brendan Wiredu, and Dan Batty, who scored in three successive friendlies.

Vela, who netted last Saturday’s late winner in Town’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Dundee United, believes that having a top midfielder in charge can only help.

The 28-year-old said: “The midfield has a bit of everything. Brendan is a big, strong lad who is good on the ball.

Josh Vela joined Fleetwood Town in early June Picture: Fleetwood Town FC

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“He gets stuck in, I can get stuck in as well and Batty has that technical ability on the ball.

“He can switch the play, so the midfield has a bit of everything and has been working really well in pre-season.”

Brown’s career saw him as a vital cog in the engine room for both Celtic and Scotland.

That means he is ideally placed to pass on advice to the Cod Army’s midfield men as the club looks to improve upon last season’s 20th position.

Vela, who was Town’s second signing of the summer in early June, said of the new Highbury head coach: “He is always giving the midfielders little tips on what we can improve on.

“He’s obviously been a top player himself and he knows the score. We have to take that into the season.”

It’s been a busy pre-season as the Town players get to grips with Brown’s way of working.

The warm-up matches began with a draw against Tranmere Rovers at Poolfoot Farm, followed by defeat to Rotherham United in the first of their two-match Croatian training camp.

The second of those games brought a first victory, beating HNK Orijent 1919, before a behind-closed doors draw at Stoke City.

Three consecutive wins then rounded off the pre-season programme as Town saw off Barrow AFC, Dundee United and FC Halifax Town.

Speaking about the Dundee United win, Vela said: “It was a really good test and, in the first 25 minutes, they were really good on the ball.

“After that we got to grips with the game, got the press right and our fitness took over, I think, and we had a few chances ourselves.

“Towards the end of the first half we started to get on top and, second half, we really stepped up and probably got what we deserved in the end.”

Despite the positive result, Vela won’t lose touch with the primary purpose of pre-season,

“Pre-season is all about hard work,” he said.

“It has been tough but enjoyable as well. It's been about getting the hard yards in.

“The boys have been brilliant. It’s a great group to work with and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“We won’t get carried away. It’s only pre-season, which is about fitness and getting the minutes in, but we have to keep that winning mentality going.

“We go into the week fresh from the win and hope to take that forward to Port Vale.”