Ryan Cresswell believes Fleetwood are a match for anyone if they approach every game as they did in the second half against Notts County.
The 25-year-old defender played the full 90 minutes at Meadow Lane as Town narrowly lost 3-2 in the first round of the Capital One Cup for the second consecutive year.
Cresswell, though, believes Fleetwood can take heart from how they performed in the second half and went on to say that Town dominated the final 10-15 minutes of the clash and proved they have the quality to beat anyone on their day.
Speaking to the Cod Army Player following the match at Meadow Lane, Cresswell said: “I think it was a disappointing for us. We started off quite lively, went a goal up with a great finish and then we let them back into the game and took our foot off the gas a little bit. You can’t do that, especially against League 1 opposition. I think for the remainder of the first half that they stepped it up a bit, put the pressure on and got their goals.
“Second half I think we were the better side and at the end I thought we were going to nick something. The last 10-15 minutes, we dominated in all areas and it is a big disappointment to be leaving without the win.
“I think we knew what to expect. Quite a lot of the squad has played here before, they were well set-up, the way they approached the game and the way they played in their formation caused us some problems.
“I think that in the end, which was too late, we managed to deal with it. We just need to spot that earlier and deal with and go on to win the game because we have the quality in the squad to put any team to bed.”
Despite taking a lead in the 16th minute through Gareth Evans’ well-taken chipped goal, Fleetwood struggled to cope with the League 1 opposition and went in at half-time 2-1 down.
Fleetwood improved greatly in the second half with the words of manager Graham Alexander still ringing in their ears and Cresswell revealed what Alexander said to the squad at half time.
“We needed to just up the tempo a bit. Once we put them on the back foot we were in control and that’s what we did in the second half. That’s what the gaffer said to us at half time. He told us to take the game to them, get on the ball, make things happen and be positive and that’s what we did throughout the team in the second half and they couldn’t handle us.”
Cresswell finished the game in a forward position as Fleetwood pushed for an equaliser that would have forced the game into extra-time. Cresswell scored six times last season with Southend United, but the defender was unable to add to his debut goal against Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday.
“I have done it a few times last year. I went up top three or four times and I ended up scoring six goals so it has worked before. It wasn’t a gamble and I think the manager knows that and like I said I was in the box when the balls were coming in, but unlucky for me they wasn’t on my head and we will go again on Saturday.”
Cresswell reflected on a game of ifs and buts and insists Fleetwood need to put the game to the back of the mind and take their second half performance into the game against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
“We could have been stood here saying that if three goals hadn’t gone in we would have won the game 2-0. I think that’s just football; it can take nicks off any player. I think that the second one, where the ball has hit the post and it bounces back to the striker even though there are three defenders in the box as well, but it lands at his feet. It’s one of them, but we need to start on Saturday the way we finished last night and we will do pretty well.
“You learn in every game; I think if we approach Saturday’s game the way we finished tonight’s game then we will have no problems. I think that the quality that we showed we have shown tonight will see us into Saturday and I look forward to it.”