Antoni Sarcevic has proved he is a League One footballer – but now he has to do so consistently.
That’s the view of Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander after the former Manchester City youngster completed his first full 90 minutes in more than a month.
Town’s Wembley hero put in his most impressive display since promotion to League One, despite his side’s 1-0 defeat at Swindon on Saturday.
And Alexander, having taken the player to one side, was pleased to see his advice taken on board.
The Town boss said: “We know Sarce is a very good player who can definitely play at this level.
“I had a chat with him before Saturday to tell him what he could improve on.
“We saw the best of him down at Swindon – his workrate, aggression, passing, breaking from midfield.
“That’s the player we know and love. He’s set himself a benchmark now for the season.”
And the Fleetwood manager insisted he would continue to push his players, particularly promising young talents like 22-year-old Sarcevic.
“We push players to better themselves and to improve,” added Alexander.
“But we’ll only push them if we think they can be better.
“We’ll continue to keep pushing them and being a pain in the backside, but we only do it because we care about their careers and want to them to be the best they can.”
Sarcevic contributed to a battling Fleetwood display, one which was just missing goals, as the manager was only too happy to concede.
He said: “I think we’ve dropped off our workrate in recent games but they were superb on Saturday.
“You can’t just rely on workrate alone.
“It has to be disciplined and structured, and we saw that from them.
“But games are about goals, and unfortunately we conceded and didn’t score.”
Sarcevic isn’t the only player Alexander wants to push to improve Town’s prospects.
“He’s also got his eye on young hopefuls like Nick Haughton, who made a late impact against both Walsall and Swindon
The manager said: “It’s something for the other young players to follow. If they show the desire to be in our first team, we’ll give them the chance.
“There’s a lot of hard work for them.
“They can’t think they’ve made it because of just one performance.
“But we’ll give them all the support we can to become seasoned professionals.”