The hunger games for boss Pressley

Steven Pressley
Steven Pressley
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Steven Pressley has called for more aggression going forward and hunger at set-pieces ahead of today’s tough test for his Fleetwood side.

Town travel to Pressley’s former club Coventry City, who are pushing for a play-off berth at very least this term.

Manager Tony Mowbray hasbeen given the means to end the club’s exile from the top two divisions.

Pressley’s battle is very different and he knows that if they can’t find goals quickly Fleetwood’s season will only end one way.

A lack of cutting edge cost them dear on Tuesday at Rochdale and Pressley made clear his frustration ahead of the trip to the Ricoh Arena.

“I’ve looked at the game again and I’m hugely frustrated,” he said. “Based on our defensive performances of late there’s no doubt we’re promotion candidates – with our offensive work we’re relegation candidates.

“We have to find the solution to that, find the happy medium.

“Looking back at the game, our initial periods of passing were good but once we broke the lines we didn’t change the speed or play the aggressive pass when it was on.

“I said at the time I thought we chose the easy option. That’s what it was.

“When the opportunity was there to make the difference, to make the pass, make the movement, we didn’t do it.

“We have to take more responsibility because we have to score more goals. We have to turn the possession we have into goalscoring chances.”

Pressley insists everyone in the Fleetwood camp has to share responsibilty for hauling the club clear of the League One drop zone.

He said: “It’s about ownership – not just for players but for me. I constantly look to see how I can make us tactically better and create more chances. It’s down to me as well. We all have to take ownership.

“On Tuesday Chris Maxwell had one save to make, apart from the goal, away from home.

“There’s a lot of domination of the ball but it has to be domination with a purpose.

“We have to take more responsibility to make things happen.”

Fleetwood have smashed four goals past Colchester, Swindon, Bury and pace-setters Burton but such shows of attacking strength have been sporadic, especially away.

“We have the players who can make things happen,” said Pressley, “but they have to do that on a more regular basis.

“We did it last Saturday against Scunthorpe and we won. But in too many fixtures we haven’t scored enough goals and we’re asking a lot of ourselves defensively each week because of that.

“We’re giving up very few moments.

“To concede only two goals in our last four games and win only one of them isn’t good enough. When you have a defensive record like that you should win all four.”

But Pressley insists it’s not just down to the club’s strikers to score, singling out set-pieces as a particular area for concern.

“I don’t just single out the strikers,” he said.

“We have to be more aggresive in our passing from other areas of the pitch (not just up front). I spoke about getting it from the full-back areas but all over the pitch we have to be more aggressive.

“Our strikers have to live off opportunities and we have a responsibility to create for them.”

Town have players capable of delivering from dead-ball situations and Pressley can’t understand why their training ground display can’t be transferred to a match-day.

He continued: “I was really disappointed on Tuesday because we worked hard on our set-plays last week.

“We had several really good deliveries but we failed to get a head on things. We have to do better in that department.

“I think we’ve lost one goal in 20-odd games from set-plays. That was in the last minute against Millwall.

“I think that’s a fantastic record but I don’t think we’ve scored from a set- play in 20 games. It’s not good enough.

“We work on them and continuously go over them, but we’ve got to have more desire to get a head on them.”

Fleetwood will be without defenders Conor McLaughlin, Nathan Pond, Tyler Forbes, Danny Andrew and Stephen Jordan today, while full-back Amari’i Bell faces a late fitness test.