By Jon Harries
What a great week it’s been. Ethan Laird Friday, pride in defeat Saturday, one of the easiest wins to confirm a quarter final place in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday, sign a striker (yes, he is ours) in Charlie Brown on Wednesday and then confirm Andrew Surman for the rest of the season on Thursday. Russell Martin is starting to build his squad the way he wants. Young hungry players mixed with the experienced players, results and performances improving, the hard work continues.
When I said good week, that was before the 3-0 demolition by Peterborough who fully deserved it. Jonson Clarke-Harris with a near post header and a double from Sammie Szmodics in a near faultless display by the hosts. Their pressing was phenomenal, clinical in our box and that’s why they are tipped for promotion as they learnt from their last experience at Stadium MK. Fleetwood meanwhile also suffered defeat at home to another promotion candidate Portsmouth. John Marquis with the goal in another Jackett masterclass where the opposition dominated possession and general play but couldn’t break down a well-oiled defence. Going into Tuesday both clubs will be looking for a confidence boosting performances.
Fleetwood come into this in a state of transition. Joey Barton left the club a couple of weeks ago by mutual consent having progressed Fleetwood from mid table L1 candidates to consistently play off pushing under his stewardship. His management style was much like his playing career, honest, controversial but never dull. He was adored by the Cod Army but like Marmite for the wider football community.
In Alex Cairns they have a particularly good goalkeeper although this season his mistakes have cost Fleetwood. In Danny Andrew they have a fearless expressive LB, Charlie Mulgrew and Callum Connolly (loans from Everton) are another great mixture of youth and experience. In midfield they boast names like Glenn Whelan and Jordan Rossiter, and former Blades Mark Duffy and Paul Coutts add even more experienced heads. Their breakthrough star without any doubt is Harvey Saunders who earlier in the season put Hull to the sword with his pace and trickery. Josh Morris and Paddy Madden up top are massive goal threats alongside new loanee recruit from Rotherham Kyle Vassell.
The player in focus for Fleetwood is Callum Camps. Picked up from Rochdale in the summer he has settled into Highbury quite brilliantly. Eight goals from 20 starts puts him on par with the “Wizard” Scott Fraser and is integral to the way Fleetwood play. A fantastic ball carrier with a great set piece delivery, Camps isn’t shot shy either. Fleetwood maybe struggling recently under interim manager Simon Wiles but no question they are a threat.
Predicted Line up
Laird – Poole – Williams- Lewington- Harvie
Sorenson – Gladwin – Fraser
Jerome – Brown
The back five looks stronger even with the impending loss of Keogh and line-up better balanced. If Surman recovers swap with Gladwin but we’re playing at home against a struggling side. Creativity will be key and it’s a great opportunity for Brown to settle in and get used to the “process”.
I predict a 3-0 win.
We react well after poor performances and defeat, and Saturday was a bump in the road for a bright future.
Trust The Process.
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