Paddy Lane: We have old heads on young shoulders at Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town’s inexperienced squad are stepping up to the plate in League One and Paddy Lane says there are many mature heads on young bodies.

By Andy Moore
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 8:00 am

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Much is made of the focus on youth at Highbury, especially with Under-23s boss Stephen Crainey currently running the senior team, but in-form midfielder Lane says there’s far more to the side than youthful exuberance.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 international said: “You say we have young players but mentally I think they are all a lot older than their age.

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Paddy Lane had assists for both Fleetwood goals in last weekend's win over Gillingham

“Every single one of us in there, even the lads on the bench, all know exactly what we are doing and the jobs we need to do.

“We do need experienced players like Tom Clarke, Conor McLaughlin and Danny Andrew, who have been superb with me and all the other young lads .

“But the young lads have all come through together, and it’s great to have Jay Matete at the side of me and Shayden Morris, and of course the injured lads like Hilly (James Hill).

”I live with Carl Johnson and I think that since he’s come in he’s been absolutely superb. It’s great to have him behind me.”

The transition to the senior side has been made less daunting for young players in recent weeks by seeing Crainey’s familiar face at the helm.

Lane, 20, added: ““We all know what Crains is about and what he expects, and if you don’t give him that he’ll be after you.

“It’s a good feeling working under him and Baz (Nicholson, coach) and the rest of the staff. The boys have bought into it and we want to keep going and keep getting the results.”

Back-to-back victories have lifted Town out of the League One drop zone after a run of 11 without a win in all competitions.

And that owes much to the maturity Lane talks about. “I wouldn’t say we were in trouble,” he said.

“We all knew in the dressing room we were okay but we just needed to start getting the three points on the board. We’ve started that and we want to carry on.”

Rewarded last week with an extended contract, Town’s summer signing from Hyde United believes his non-league background stands him in good stead at this time of year.

Lane explained: “I’ve come from playing on pitches were it’s always going to be a grind when the weather is bad. I’ve come from that side of the game and I think that’s good for me. I like the physical battle.

“We look at each other soaked in mud and that’s good, especially when you’ve got three points.”

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