Shutting out the Shrews is top target for Fleetwood's Eastham

Ash Eastham tussles with Scunthorpe's Ivan Toney
Ash Eastham tussles with Scunthorpe's Ivan Toney
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A return to a blank blueprint is the top priority for Fleetwood defender Ash Eastham as he targets a clean sheet against Shrewsbury on Tuesday.

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Saturday’s clash at Rochdale may have fallen foul to a waterlogged pitch but Town don’t have to wait long for an opportunity to end their five- match losing run at home to the Shrews.

Centre-half Eastham would like to chip in with a few more goals but says a clean slate is his priority after Town conceded 12 in the course of those five losses.

The 26-year-old said: “At this moment the key is to get back to keeping clean sheets. That is our main priority.

“We do that as a team. It is not just the goalkeeper – it is the whole back four working as a unit.

“For example, in the Scunthorpe game we had six or seven corners in the first 10 minutes, and we have really got to look to make that pay because set-pieces are a massive part of League One football.”

Town have lost three on the spin in the league due to late goals in the 2-1 defeats to Gillingham and Blackburn and the 3-2 loss in that game against Scunthorpe which saw the defender wrongly sent off.

The defender’s ban has been lifted after Town’s successful appeal and Eastham can now feature against the high-flying Shrews.

He said of those recent results: “It has been frustrating because when I look at many of the games recently we have been in them and there has not been a lot in it.

“Maybe late goals, a switch- off in concentration...

“Last week the referee’s decision is possibly a big factor in the game.

“But it is about being mentally tough at times like this.

“No matter what team the gaffer picks, we are all able to put a good performance in and that is what we are looking to do.

“The way we have looked at it in the past, it is not just the defensive unit who are proud (of a clean sheet) – it is the whole team because we know that defending comes from the front.

“That is what we work on as an 11. We move up the pitch together as one solid unit.

“I’d like to think there are not a lot of spaces in between our lines.

“We take pride from keeping clean sheets and we have proved in the past that we are more than good enough to do it. There is no reason why we cannot get back to that now.”