Stephen Crainey confident Fleetwood can take lessons from Portsmouth into Wigan clash

Stephen Crainey believes his Fleetwood Town side can approach Tuesday's game at high-flying Wigan Athletic with confidence after so nearly emerging victorious from a daunting trip to Fratton Park.

By Andy Moore
Monday, 28th February 2022, 8:00 am

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Fleetwood gave Pompey a real scare on Saturday, racing into the 3-0 lead before half-time but ultimately having to settle for another draw – their fifth in a seven-game winless run – after Aiden O'Brien equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

And head coach Crainey says Town can take heart from that performance going into the game at Wigan, who remain in the second automatic promotion spot in League One despite a 3-0 home defeat by Sunderland at the weekend.

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Tuesday's opponents Wigan may be second in League One but Fleetwood boss Stephen Crainey maintains there is little between teams in this division Picture: SAM FIELDING / PRiME MEDIA IMAGES

The Town boss said: “We have a point on the board, we'll dust ourselves down and go again at Wigan on Tuesday.

"There's something we can learn from as well coming to places like this. Wigan's going to be the same on Tuesday.

"I'm really pleased with the group but we really needed to see that game through. But now we'll get rested up and get a game plan for Wigan.

"I don't think there's much in League One - I keep saying that in most of my interviews.

"If we go to Wigan and play the way we can, I'm sure we can get something out of the game."

Fleetwood hadn't played for two weeks, during which two home games were postponed, and they have at least two games in hand on all five clubs below them.

Town are the only bottom-seven club in midweek action, meaning a positive result at Wigan will increase the two-point gap between Fleetwood and the relegation zone.

And Crainey hopes the two-week break between games can work to Town's advantage as they prepare for 14 matches in the final two months of the season.

"I think we showed real energy (after the lay-off), especially in the first half and hopefully we can carry that momentum into Tuesday," said Crainey

"It will be a difficult game at Wigan because they are flying high at the top but we are a good young side, so we're really looking forward to that game."

And Crainey offered an upbeat assessment of winger Anthony Pilkington, who came off injured after opening the scoring at Portsmouth.

"Thankfully it looks like a bit of an impact injury rather than a twist, so hopefully he'll be okay for Tuesday but I'll speak to the medical staff and see how that's reacted."

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