Fleetwood's Harry Souttar all set for Blackpool test

Fleetwood Town defender Harry Souttar is ready for the challenges that Blackpool’s forward line will bring this afternoon.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 11:45 am
Harry Souttar says Fleetwood Town need more clean sheets
Harry Souttar says Fleetwood Town need more clean sheets

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But for the Australia international centre-half, Pool’s top scorer would be just another striker, and Souttar’s focus is on what his side can do.

The Stoke City loanee told The Gazette: “There are a lot of strikers like that in this league.

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“We know what strengths he’s got. Obviously we’ll respect him but for us it’s just another game.

“We know they’ve got good players but we know that we’ve also got good players.

“It will be a good match-up on the day and it’s all about who gets the better of who.

“We’ve got match-winners in our side going forward. We’ve got good goalscorers and we’ve got people in the team that can create.

“We’ll back ourselves all the way. It’s just about keeping more clean sheets than we have done so far this season.

“As a whole team, and as a back four and keeper, we would like to have more clean sheets than we do.

“That’s something we’re going to have to work on and address that problem.”

Keeping the back door closed has been the biggest problem for free-scoring Fleetwood this campaign, with only three shut-outs so far in League One – Remi Matthews of bottom club Bolton Wanderers has four.

But with more options in defence, Joey Barton has rung changes this season in search of the best combination.

Three goalkeepers have been used in the league this season and all four centre- backs in various partnerships.

Souttar has welcomed the added competition and thinks it brings the best out of the players.

“You’re always trying to be perfect as a defender and stop goals, and at the end of the day you want a clean sheet,” he said.

“But whoever I’m playing alongside and whoever is in the team, everyone is there to do a job.

“We’ve got four central halves at the club now who are all very capable of doing what we need to do on a Saturday.

“When I was here last season, the captain Morgs (Craig Morgan) was injured and it was me and Ash (Eastham) until the end of the season.

“Now we’ve got four centre-halves there’s a lot more competition and everyone is keeping each other on their toes.

“It makes for a healthier squad, a hungrier squad.

“Everyone wants to play and no-one is happy when they’re missing out at a weekend. The people who are in there and have the jersey need to fight for it.

“With the goalkeeping situation as well, it’s nice to see Billy (Crellin, who has got the nod for the last three games) getting some game-time.

“I’ve probably played with Alex (Cairns) more than any other keeper here but there are three quality keepers at the club who would do a job.

“It’s up to the player in goal to stay there.”