Winger's delight for the third time of his career at Wembley
Matty Blair says Fleetwood Town’s journey through the leagues, which went one step further with promotion to Sky Bet League One on Monday, has ‘been nothing short of incredible.’
The 24-year-old winger started and impressed on the right hand side as Fleetwood secured their sixth promotion in ten years with a 1-0 victory over Burton Albion at Wembley Stadium in the Play-Off final.
Fellow summer signing, Antoni Sarcevic, scored the winner in the second half – a minute after Blair was substituted for Jon Parkin.
Promotion meant Fleetwood will play in League One for the first time in their history and continued a monumental rise from the North West Counties League to the Football League.
And Blair, whilst reflecting on his own personal season, admitted in the aftermath of the game that Fleetwood’s season ended in the best possible way as they brought the curtain down on their two-year stay in League Two.
“I have said to a couple of people already, I actually think I have had a poor season that’s ended really well – the best it possibly could have ended,” Blair said.
“I have just kept going, kept working at it and then managed to break into the team with ten games to go, so I am delighted how it has finished.
“Winning it (automatic promotion) would be better for a lot of people’s nerves, but it’s a special day out, everybody gets together, they get up for it and they celebrate it.
“I have sympathy for the Burton supporters and the Burton players, but it is a special moment that a lot of people will remember for a long time.”
“I am proud to be part of it without doubt. Just coming here today and starting the game and it was another Wembley win.
“I am lucky to have three of them, but the rollercoaster that Fleetwood have been on is nothing short of incredible and I think everybody admits that.
“A lot of people look at Fleetwood and think small club, they shouldn’t be where they are, but we have massive ambitions and that comes back from the board and the chairman, who is really enthusiastic about the club and wants to take them as far as they can.”
After controlling large periods of the first half, Fleetwood weathered an extended period of Burton pressure before they struck the all-important goal 20 minutes from time.
Blair admitted Town were disappointed they had not capped off their impressive first half display with a couple of goals, but insisted it was just important to win the game.
“It’s a cup final; you just have to get the ball in the back of the net. We played really well in the first half; we had a lot of possession and should have scored a couple. In the second half it was different, but we still scored, we won the game and that’s the most important thing.”
Despite celebrations being well underway, talk quickly turned to the opposition Fleetwood will be go head-to head with next season on an even keel.
With mouth-watering games against Sheffield United, Coventry City and Peterborough United amongst others to look forward to, Graham Alexander’s side will contest the Lancashire derby with Preston North End next season.
“It’s really exciting, but, if I am honest, I haven’t looked to next season yet. We will enjoy tonight and the next couple of days of celebrating, but come pre-season we will look to next season. There are some exciting ties and I am sure everyone will enjoy it.”
The Cod Army will be extending their promotion celebrations this weekend at Highbury Stadium. For further information please click here