Town boss Pressley vows: We’re staying up

Despair from Fleetwood Town's Devante Cole as he sees his late shot on goal saved  Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport
Despair from Fleetwood Town's Devante Cole as he sees his late shot on goal saved Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport
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Steven Pressley says he has no doubt Fleetwood Town will survive in League One despite losing 1-0 to Walsall at Highbury last night.

It was Town’s second successive defeat and followed the 2-1 loss at Burton on Saturday.

But manager Pressley was pleased with his players’ reaction after the weekend display, despite suffering a first home defeat of 2016.

Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw’s 49th-minute strike was the difference.

This defeat, combined with Oldham picking up three points against Blackpool, means the gap between 19th-placed Fleetwood and the drop zone has been reduced to three points.

But a confident Pressley believes that as long as Town stick to the basics, and play with the aggression and passion they showed last night, then they will avoid relegation from League One.

The Town boss said: “I thought I got the perfect reaction after what happened at Burton.

“I was delighted with the performance but we didn’t win the game.

“We put so much into it. We dominated it for long periods and we created a number of really good chances.

“The only disappointing thing is the result, but ultimately that is what football is all about.

“As I said to the group, if we play in that manner and we apply ourselves in that manner, then I have no doubts we can survive.

“I spoke prior to this game about the importance of us getting back to doing what we do best.

“That is what I asked of them and I think we played in a way that defies our league position.

“We missed an opportunity (to pull away from the drop zone). We know that but I know from the players’ reactions and the way that we performed that we will be fine. I’m pretty certain of it.

“The only disappointing thing is the result, but ultimately that is what football is all about.

“As I said to the group, if we play in that manner and we apply ourselves in that manner, then I have no doubts we can survive.

“I spoke prior to this game about the importance of us getting back to doing what we do best.

“That is what I asked of them and I think we played in a way that defies our league position.

“We missed an opportunity (to pull away from the drop zone).

“We know that but I know from the players’ reactions and the way that we performed that we will be fine. I’m pretty certain of it.

“You always earn the right for luck, and if it is not in this game it will be in the next.

“The most important thing for me is that we got back to doing what I want us to do, and that is to pass and press at the right moments and play with a lot of energy.

“I thought we did that. We really did apply ourselves but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.

“I think there is a lot to be optimistic about in terms of what we are doing and how we are performing.”

And Pressley says he is disappointed Town gave Bradshaw an opportunity to score with Walsall’s only shot on target.

He said: “It was probably Tom Bradshaw’s only opportunity and it was a terrific finish. I’m disappointed that we gave up the chance but he was clinical in his finishing.

“That is why he is a sought-after goalscorer in this league. But there were a lot of really good things from us tonight.”

Pressley handed a debut to Scot Thomas Grant and he was pleased with how the youngster adjusted to his baptism of fire after joining earlier this month and only a handful of run outs for the development squad.

He said: “I thought Thomas Grant had a wonderful debut. He played in a position that is slightly alien to him but he gave us a better balance to the midfield.

“He is a left footed player and I was delighted with the way he came in.

“There is a lot of positives to take tonight other than the result.”