Pressley: Point could be vital but Fleetwood deserved three
Steven Pressley says the point his Fleetwood Town side collected in such dramatic style at Southend could be vital in their survival quest.
Pressley believes Town deserved more than a point on the south coast, where top scorer Bobby Grant’s 53rd-minute goal put them ahead before Southend captain Adam Barrett’s header and Jack Payne’s 18-yard curler made it 2-1 to the hosts with eight minutes to go.
Pressley felt that was an unjust scoreline but hailed his side’s character as they fought back to claim a point which left them above Shrewsbury on goal difference.
The Town boss said: “I’m exhausted and disappointed because to be trailing 2-1 given the manner of our performance was really disappointing. I thought we were brilliant.
“We created a lot of really good chances and I thought we restricted them to very few, so I thought the score was completely unjust at 2-1.
“But my players showed unbelievable spirit and it could prove to be a massive point in our quest for survival.
“In the last minute of the game we have got our left-back crossing for our right-back to score and I think that shows our intent.”
Pressley was disappointed his side scored two away from home and did not make the long trip back from Essex with all three points.
But with five games to go, he says is positive his side can stay up if they continue to play like they did at Southend.
Pressley said: “I’m just disappointed because we scored two away from home and did not win.
“We have been very good at keeping teams out and very good on set-plays, but we lost a goal direct from a corner and that is very unlike us.
“But if we keep up that type of performance, our endeavour and the effort, then I’m very positive about our survival quest. We have now gone four unbeaten, which is positive because momentum is really important.
“I think the spirit we showed at Southend was hugely important because it would have been a real sucker blow had we lost after playing so well, so it was vital that we got the point in the end.
“Every point at this stage in the season could prove pivotal in our survival. I’m really proud of the players and really pleased with them.”
Pressley believes Town should have had two penalties when the score was locked at 1-1.
Wes Burns appeared to be tripped in the box and substitute David Ball’s effort looked to have been stopped by Ben Coker’s arms.
Pressley said referee Lee Swabey got the decisions wrong. “I’m aggrieved by two (penalty claims waved away),” he said.
“I thought Wes was impeded and I thought that when Bally came inside and hit the ball their player’s hands were in an unnatural position. I also believe there was a foul on Conor before the corner leading up to their second goal.
“I think the referee got some really big decisions wrong and ultimately that can cost you.”
And Pressley hailed the 62 travelling Town fans for making the 550-mile round trip.
He said: “A big thank you to our supporters because they made an incredible journey. I hope they go away really happy with our performance.
“I felt the team as a whole worked so hard. The win we didn’t get certainly was not for a want of trying.
“I’m just disappointed we lost goals in the manner we did because that is not like us.
“There is frustration because my team deserved better than they got but I’m extremely proud that we never gave in.
“When you dominate a game in the manner we did and find yourselves 2-1 down completely against the run of play, you could become disillusioned but we didn’t. We kept going and going, and we got that vital point.”