Fleetwood Town striker wants a dual cause for celebration

Conor McAleny netted his third goal of pre-season
Conor McAleny netted his third goal of pre-season
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Conor McAleny admits he will be celebrating should he mark his 26th birthday weekend with a goal at Oxford United.

The striker had a loan spell with Oxford in the 2016/17 season, when 10 goals in 14 games attracted Town’s interest and led to his Highbury move.

He already knows what it’s like to score against Oxford with his 90th minute strike last season clinching Fleetwood’s League One status.

Speaking about that goal and the memories of 2018, the forward – who turns 26 on Sunday – said: “It was one of those; as soon as it leaves your foot, you know it is in.

“It is always nice to score goals like that.

“We came away with three points, that is what mattered and that is what we are hoping for.

“We win as a team lose as a team; it was just three points, an important three points.

“I have to agree with that (that we are stronger) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it is game by game.

“It was good; I enjoyed my time there, good people, a good club but it is gone now, I’m a Fleetwood player.

“I will definitely be celebrating if I score a goal.”

That goal came under new boss John Sheridan who had taken over from Uwe Rosler and steered Fleetwood to safety.

McAleny only got his first 90 minutes as a Fleetwood man under Sheridan, having been hampered by a foot injury the day after a two-goal opening day debut against Rotherham United.

Now, however, the forward is putting his injury woes aside as he aims to play 30 games in a season for the first time.

He said: “You cannot dwell on things, that is football.

“What has happened has happened.

“I’ve put that to one side and I am concentrating game by game now.”

That injury at Northampton put a dampener on his 25th birthday but now, as he bids to fire Town to glory at his old club, he says nobody is panicking after losing 1-0 to Wimbledon on the opening day.

Town make the trip south looking to register their first three points under Joey Barton’s regime.

He said: “It is only the first game, still a lot to build on. Nothing gets decided on the first day.

“We know what we need to do. It is the first game, nobody is panicking, there is no need to panic.

“Tommy Spurr had two good shots and on another day, they go in.

“When Bobby (Grant) hit the post I was off my chair because I was just waiting for it to hit the back of the net.

“It did not go our way but that is football, it happens.”