Defender following narrow loss at the New York StadiumBelief was the key factor according to Conor McLaughlin, who insists that Fleetwood Town were unlucky not recover from a slow start to beat Rotherham United in the Capital One Cup first round on Tuesday night.
The Town full back played a starring role in a defence that remained resilient to keep the Millers, who were promoted to the Championship via the play-offs last season, at bay until Matt Derbyshire’s extra time penalty settled the contest.
Fleetwood, though, started slowly as Rotherham created a number of chances in the first half, but McLaughlin, the Northern Ireland international, believes Town upped their game after they started to believe in themselves.
Speaking to the Club’s official website in the aftermath of the game at the New York stadium, said: “All the lads were all disappointed in the end. In the first half, we gave them too much respect and it took us 25-30 minutes to get going.
“After that we created a few chances and we were maybe unlucky in the end not to go on and win it.
“We have had to work hard to keep a clean sheet in the end and that was down to the whole team.
“We could have kept the ball better at times in the first half and as the game went on we just got better and better.
“It took us a while to get going and believe in ourselves really. In the end, we know how good we can play and we showed that in the second half. We were unlucky not to take a few chances in the end.”
With the new season only a week old, the search to regain full match sharpness and fitness is entering its autumn stage, but McLaughlin believes the squad displayed how fit it was after taking the game to Rotherham right until the very last kick.
He added: “Our squad’s, personally, one of the fittest squad’s I have been with. We showed that in the last 20-30 minutes as we kept pushing them and it shows how fit we are.”
The Cod Army’s focus has now turned to Saturday’s away trip to Notts County as they look to follow up their opening day victory against Crewe Alexandra with back-to-back league wins.
Town’s 23-year-old defender says there is only positives that can be taken from their narrow defeat to Steve Evans’ Championship outfit as Fleetwood bid to return to winning ways at the first attempt – a trait that characterised their season for much of last term.
“We can take a lot of confidence from the performance in the end and hopefully we can take that into Saturday and try and get the three points.”