Town chairman Pilley: We must learn from season of underachievement

Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley at Poolfoot Farm.
Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley at Poolfoot Farm.
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Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley says Town have “underachieved” this season after beating the drop on the final day of the season.

Steven Pressley took the reins from Graham Alexander in October, when Town were in the bottom four, and just achieved his task of keeping them in League One.

After last season’s 10th-placed finish, Town ended this season in 19th spot after a nail biting relegation scrap.

And Pilley says lessons need to be learned and that missed chances and defensive errors have been the story of their season.

The Town chairman said: “I think we have underachieved this season, certainly my opinion,.

“I think that we have managed to turn what looked like victories – performances that were worthy of winning games – into draws and we have managed to turn draws into defeats.

“It is just by fine margins. Whether it is missing a key chance, (missing) some really good chances, (missing) numerous chances in some games or a defensive error, that has been the story of our season.

“I think it is extraordinary to go into the game on the last day of the season with a minus six goal difference and to have the possibility of going down. That is unheard of.

“Nobody has thumped us all season. We just haven’t ground those results out like we did last year.

“(There are) lessons to be learned but it is a long summer and we will work hard to get it right.”

But Pilley was pleased with Town’s performance against Crewe yesterday.

He said: “I think it was the kind of performance we needed to deliver. The pressure was on and it was important that we got the first goal here at home. We did that and we scored soon afterwards.

“The first goal was a superb strike by Bobby Grant.

“It was one of those where you can see the keeper was beaten. It has hit the underside of the bar and my first thought was that it was going to come out again.

“That is the way our luck has been and that is what your luck tends to be when you are at the bottom of the league.

“But the ball span backwards, it hit the roof of the net and it went in.

“I think that gave us the confidence to kick on and get the result we needed.”

Pilley says he is sad to see Town’s local rivals Blackpool go down and hopes they will bounce back quickly.

The chairman added: “It would have been great if ourselves and Blackpool would have remained in the division.

“It is the first fixture that I look for and I would like to think it would be one of their key fixtures as well.

“But that is out of our hands and I am saddened to see Blackpool relegated today.

“It is a great shame but hopefully they can get it right and bounce back sooner rather than later.”