Fleetwood Town boss ready for a key stage of the season

Stephen Crainey is fully aware of how important the Christmas period could be in shaping Fleetwood Town’s season.

Sunday, 26th December 2021, 8:00 am

Town have climbed out of the League One relegation places after taking seven points from the last nine.

They face fellow strugglers Shrewsbury Town at Highbury this afternoon (3pm), Crainey’s first game since being named head coach on a permanent basis.

The former interim boss signed a deal to take him through to the end of the season at the start of last week.

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

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Having faced many of the sides around them in recent weeks, Town have tougher tests on the horizon after this afternoon’s clash.

Crainey said: “The Christmas period is always crucial in any league.

“We’ve got a tough game against Shrewsbury on Boxing Day, followed by two tough games with Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.

“We’re looking forward to them but we can’t look any further than Shrewsbury on Sunday, that is paramount.

“We want to prepare well and hopefully, on the day, we play well too and get the three points. Where we are in the table, it is crucial we start winning games.

“In the last three games we have won two and drawn one, so it’s important we follow that up on Boxing Day against Shrewsbury with another three points.

“As I keep saying though, every game in League One is a tough game. We need to earn the right to get the three points.”

Fleetwood’s next game, however, is already in doubt, as Wigan’s contest against Crewe Alexandra this afternoon has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the Latics camp.

Fleetwood have boasted a clean bill of health in terms of Covid and Crainey is hoping it stays that way.

He said: “We have protocols. We need to be testing daily now, that’s right the way through the Football League.

“It’s hard to actually plan because you get news from the medical team and you can’t plan ahead.

“You need to be adaptable and that's how we’re being at the moment. It’s about player safety, first and foremost, players and staff.

“We’ve got a clean bill of health, all of the tests (on Thursday) came back negative, hopefully we can maintain that moving forward.

“The likelihood is that yes, someone will potentially get it. It’s spreading like wildfire at the moment.

“The lads are disciplined away from the training ground and doing the right things which gives us the best chance of winning football matches and for me being selfish, a better selection to choose from.”

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