FLEETWOOD Town were on weather watch ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled trip to Mansfield Town.
Micky Mellon’s Blue Square Bet Premier table-toppers expect to hear later today whether the game could go ahead.
The Field Mill pitch has been hard and frozen in recent days and the weather forecast was not optimistic.
However, manager Mellon was planning as though the match would go ahead – as leaders Fleetwood take on Mansfield, their closest title rivals Wrexham are away at Darlington.
The ultimate prize of elevation to the Football League awaits the title winners and the pressure of the challenge certainly doesn’t faze Mellon.
The Town manager said: “We are loving it. I want to be involved in big games like this every week, rather than chugging along in mid-table with nothing at stake.
“The players feel the same – that’s why they were persuaded to come to Fleetwood in the first place.
“This is the toughest and most challenging time of the season, with 15 matches still to go.
“At this stage of the season every team in the league knows what they are fighting for and has something to play for. It is the toughest part of the season ... and the most exciting.”
It will be the third time the sides have met this season but the first in the league.
They clashed in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup in October and November.
The first meeting at Mansfield ended in a 1-1 draw, but Fleetwood made it through to the first-round proper with a 5-0 replay win and went on to claim the League One scalps of Wycombe and Yeovil before succumbing to a vibrant Blackpool.
Mellon is underplaying the relevance of that emphatic scoreline ahead of tomorrow’s rematch.
The Fleetwood boss insists: “That will make it even more tough. Mansfield will be stinging after that and they will want to put that right.”
Mansfield go into the match in ninth place, still harbouring hopes of the play-offs.
Mellon said: “Mansfield are a big club and a former Football League club, and I am sure at the start of the season their manager was told that getting into the play-offs should be the target.
“They are a big, physical side and we will have to cope with that. They have only lost five matches in the league all season.”
One absentee from the Mansfield line-up will be Paul Edwards, who joined the Stags on loan from Fleetwood – he is ruled out of playing against his parent club.
While doubts surround tomorrow’s match, Mellon is convinced Fleetwood will have a significant advantage in the run-in to the end of the season because of their frost covers.
They did the trick last weekend, when Fleetwood’s 2-2 draw with Tamworth was the sole Conference fixture to survive the elements.
Mellon said: “The chairman went on record as saying the frost covers were the best investment the club had made and you have to agree with that.”