Mellon won’t allow his ideals to go for a Burton

Micky Mellon
Micky Mellon
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It’s been a tough introduction into the Football League for Fleetwood Town, who have followed a draw at home to Torquay United and defeat at Bradford City.

With eleven new faces arriving at Highbury this summer and an ambitious set-up behind the scenes, Town know that expectations are high as Town look to follow in the footsteps of previous Conference champions Stevenage and Crawley Town by winning promotion from League Two at the first attempt.

Yet Town have matched Stevenage’s start to Football League life two seasons ago – right down to a League Cup first-round exit and a 1-0 away defeat to Bradford.

And the Cod Army can be happy with how their side have performed, creating plenty of chances and demonstrating they are more than capable of competing in this division.

Manager Micky Mellon was disheartened to leave Valley Parade empty-handed and hopes it will be third-time lucky at Burton Albion tomorrow.

Mellon told The Gazette: “We’re disappointed because we lost a game of football on Tuesday. What disappointed me was that we never really got the ball down and played the way that we should and can.

“But on the balance of chances we can consider ourselves very unlucky to have come away without anything.

“Certainly I want us to play a lot more controlled passing football, and we maybe got sucked in a wee bit to the way that Bradford played.

“Credit to them but we’ve got to be braver with a football and want to pass it more.”

Town are yet to score a competitive goal this season but struggled to do so early last season too.

Having netted twice on the opening day at Grimsby, they found the net only once in the next five games before going on to total more goals last season than any Football League side.

Fleetwood want to retain the style of play that won them the Blue Square Bet Premier title in such style but know they most adapt their approach to the demands of League football.

But Mellon won’t put his side under any pressure to break their scoring duck so early in the season.

He is much more concerned to see his team familiarising themselves with their new territory, and playing with the freedom and attacking prowess that fans so enjoyed last year.

He added: “I think sometimes I’ve got to remember that I had five players at Bradford the other night playing only their second ever Football League game, so it’s a big step up for us and we’re learning all the time. “The players are getting more and more experienced, getting used to the tempo and what is needed to be successful at this level.

“Scoring isn’t a pressure because we know we’ve got good quality players here. Eventually it will happen. It’s not something that’s concerning me. I want my players to play well, express themselves, throw their shackles off and go and enjoy their football.

“I don’t think we did that on Tuesday night but I did think we did it against Nottingham Forest and Torquay.

“I want us to get the ball down and pass it, especially when the pitch is so nice and everybody’s so fresh. I want us to go and express ourselves in the right way.”

Today’s opponents Burton Albion will be full of confidence after their 6-2 thrashing of AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday. Andy they certainly won’t be shot-shy after six different players netted against the Dons.

But Mellon feels his side are well-prepared to face a tough challenge at the Pirelli Stadium.

“We’re in the League now and there’s no easy place to go.

“They got a really positive result. We had somebody at that game and got a DVD of it, so we’ve done our homework on what we feel that we need to do against Burton.

“But we need to concentrate on ourselves at the minute and try to get our game into gear for what will be a difficult match. But it should also be a very good match and one we’re looking forward to.”

There are no injury concerns at this stage for Mellon, although changes could be made to the starting XI as the manager aims to leave Burton with a win.

“We’re in a good place at the minute – everyone’s looking in good shape,” he said.

“We might want to shake one or two things up – three games in eight days is a lot of football.

“We’ll have a look at things without being too reckless, and try to put a team together that will pass the ball and try and get us a positive result at Burton.”