Fleetwood’s pre-season is hotting up

Fleetwood line-up against Fortuna Sittard in their brand new light blue away kit
Fleetwood line-up against Fortuna Sittard in their brand new light blue away kit
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Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley was pleased the heatwave did not just hit the Fylde coast yesterday as Town’s players upped their fitness levels by battling stifling conditions to draw 0-0 with Fortuna Sittard in Holland.

The game was not held at Sittard’s usual 15,000-seater stadium but at the nearby home of FC Ria in Nieuwstadt, where temperatures hit a high of 32 degrees.

But the rain is set to return today as Town face Dutch top-flight side AZ Alkmaar and Pressley hopes a number of niggling injuries will start to clear up over the next few days.

New striker Aaron Holloway trained with the squad for the first time on Monday, while Jimmy Ryan hurt his foot in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Salford, and Amari’i Bell, Devante Cole and Michael Duckworth are all getting over minor knocks.

But Eggert Jonsson, who missed Saturday’s game with a slight injury, managed 60 minutes yesterday and Conor McLaughlin marked his return to the squad after his Euro 2016 exploits by making a 30-minute cameo.

But new centre-half Cian Bolger was brought off sooner than expected in the first half after a knock to the head. Pressley says these injuries are all short-term and he is hopeful of returning home with a fully-fit squad.

He said: “I’ve been looking at the forecast for the last couple of days and I was delighted. Having to work so hard in these conditions will really help our fitness and ultimately that’s what this is all about.

“It will all help when the League One campaign starts at Northampton come August 6.

“There are a number of things we did particularly well and things we’ll look at on the video ahead of the Alkmaar game.

“There will be a number of tired bodies before that game and we have a number of injuries at the moment.

“But we are hoping most of them will be no longer than three or four days.

“I’m hoping by the time we return from Holland we’ll have a fully-fit squad.”

Pressley was pleased to pick up Town’s first clean sheet of the pre-season campaign. He said: “I want to win games but it’s the first clean sheet in three games, so I’m really pleased with that aspect. The grass out here was a little bit long and made it a little bit slow at times.

“But in terms of what we got out of the game from a conditioning point f view, I thought it was great.

“There were a number of pluses for us and it was a very worthwhile exercise.”