Fleetwood Town’s Wes Burns is enjoying the pressure of competing at the right end of League One
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The winger is relishing this campaign, with Town just one point outside the play-off zone and only three behind third-placed Coventry from two fewer games.
The positive results have created an environment to match at Town, whose 10-day break between games ends when Tranmere Rovers visit Highbury on Saturday.
Burns told The Gazette: “Last year we were sort of there or thereabouts but a few things let us down along the way.
“But this year we’re mounting a serious push for the play-offs, maybe even automatic promotion.
“The pressure comes each Saturday, with us needing to win and wanting to win. We know we can’t win every game but we’ll definitely try our best.
“There’s definitely a different pressure this year. We’d rather have promotion pressure than relegation pressure.
“I’ve been in relegation pressure before and it’s not a nice environment to be in.
“You start resenting coming to the training ground but this year it’s the complete opposite – everyone loves coming in. It’s a good environment and everyone is fighting for a place in the starting 11.
“Only 11 players can start at a weekend so the competition for places breeds a good atmosphere within the group. Everyone wants everyone to do brilliantly because we all gain at the end.
“If we win, we win as a team. Everyone’s rooting for us to win and head in the right direction”
Town haven’t played a league fixture since losing at Bolton Wanderers on November 2.
Burns would have liked last Saturday’s game at Portsmouth to have gone ahead – it was postponed due to Fleetwood’s international call-ups – and he admits Town are still working out their troubles on the road.
He said: “It was quite frustrating really. Coming off the cup wins against Barnet and Oldham, we wanted to go straight into the game at Portsmouth because winning momentum is key in football.
“It wasn’t to be but we’re still building on those two wins. “They were very different games but the performances were very good.
“We’ve talked a lot about our away form and how important it is. It hasn’t been great, we’ve highlighted that.
“But to go to Barnet (in the FA Cup), put in the performance and get the result really lifted the group.
“We’ve discussed it as a group and tried to put our finger on what exactly it is, but we can’t quite get it.
“I think it’s just the consistency of performance. We’ve been beaten at home once in nine months.
“We just need to mirror those performances away and go into away games with the same mentality we have at home.
“Those away wins will come and we’ll be fine.”