Fleetwood Town keeper Alex Cairns thanks 'top guy' David Lucas ahead of landmark game

Alex Cairns is set to make his 100th League appearance for Fleetwood Town at Bradford City
Alex Cairns is set to make his 100th League appearance for Fleetwood Town at Bradford City
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He is about to play his 100th game for Fleetwood Town and Alex Cairns praised goalkeeping coach David Lucas for aiding his development – and for helping to bring about his move to the Fylde coast.

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Prior to his arrival in the summer of 2016, Cairns had made his only EFL appearance for Leeds in a 5-0 Championship defeat by Blackpool.

He had to wait five years for his next opportunity with Fleetwood, playing his part in a long unbeaten run which propelled them into the 2016-17 play-offs.

That promotion bid was ended by Bradford City, who Town visit tomorrow, and Cairns praised the role of former Preston North End keeper Lucas in his development.

He said: “Lucs has had me from the start. He is the one who brought me to the club.

“He’d heard a few things about me before I left Leeds and he has been excellent.

“We have worked on every aspect of my game and I’d like to think my game has improved under Lucs.

“He is a top guy, a great goalkeeping coach and was a great keeper himself.”

Cairns is the only ever-present under Joey Barton this term.

Having had to wait for his chance under Uwe Rosler and enduring a spell out of the side in last season’s survival battle, Cairns (below) said: “I’m starting to stamp my authority on the team, and developing as a player and as someone the lads look up to in the dressing room.

“I think I have been very fortunate even to make my debut at this club, so I’m very excited and proud to be making my 100th league appearance. I did not know it would come round as quickly as it has.”

Town head to the relegation-battling Bantams seven points and four places behind Peterborough in the last play-off spot.

And Cairns says until it is mathematically impossible he will not rule out a top six-finish. He said: “When I first came here you could tell there was expectancy. People wanted to do well and climb up the leagues.

“When you look at the academy and the club throughout, I really feel it is starting to become a big club.

“We have shown that we are one of the best teams in League One but it is the weirdest league in football for me – everyone beats everyone.

“The team that gets the run at the right time usually gets promoted and I’m going to be trying to get into those play-offs again.”