Pond ready for starter’s orders

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FLEETWOOD Town’s injury problems could mean a first start of the season for Nathan Pond, who is assured a big cheer if his name is read out to face Newport County tonight.

The versatile midfielder reverted to centre-half to replace the injured Rob Atkinson for the final 50 minutes of Saturday’s goalless draw with Forest Green, and Town’s longest-serving player looks set to partner skipper Steve McNulty in the heart of defence tonight.

A starting place would complete Pond’s comeback after a troubled summer spent recuperating from an ankle operation.

And it means no-one is more excited about tonight’s game than the 26-year-old, now in his eighth season with a club that was still in the North West Counties League when he joined.

Pond said: “All the lads will be raring to go, wanting to put the ball in the net after the 0-0 on Saturday. Newport can’t come quick enough.

“We wanted the three points but all credit to Forest Green. Like most teams this season, they are just going to defend (here), with just one up top, and they made it difficult for us at times.

“We had a lot of possession, but when it came to the final third we were lacking that killer pass that usually comes. That bit of movement and skill just didn’t come off for us.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played at Highbury and it was nice to be back, but it’s a shame we didn’t get a winner I thought we deserved.

“I felt I did OK but I didn’t really have too much to do as all the game was played in their half.

“I’ve now made two substitute appearances and played in two reserve games. I feel fit, but a bit more match time would be nice.”