Manager's thoughts ahead of tonight's game
Manager Graham Alexander insists Fleetwood Town need their heads as well as their hearts to overcome York City in the Sky Bet League 2 Play-Off semi-final second-leg encounter.
The Cod Army lead the tie going in to tonight's clash at Highbury (7.45pm kick-off) after Matty Blair’s second-half goal gave them a 1-0 win in the rearranged match at Bootham Crescent on Monday evening.
Alexander’s side will be playing in front of a sold-out stadium as they look to reach the Wembley final, but he wants cool heads to compliment the support from the Fleetwood fans.
“We have to respond to the atmosphere and make sure we play the game with our heads as well as our hearts,” said Alexander.
“The supporters have always responded to the big games, and York will bring their numbers as well.
“Whenever that’s happened our supporters have thrown down the gauntlet and got even louder to support their team.
“Success comes from being together, and that’s what we have to be on Friday.”
Town ended a 17-game unbeaten run for York, which started in February with a 2-1 win over Fleetwood at Highbury, in the first leg at Bootham Crescent.
The run means Alexander is aware of the threat Nigel Worthington’s side still pose despite the advantage the Cod Army hold.
“They’re a dangerous opponent and a good team, so we have to make sure we’re just as good as we were on Monday to make sure we progress through,” said Alexander.
“The play-offs are a special type of game, and I don’t think teams ever give up or throw things away. We have to be wary of that and play the game as if it’s 0-0.
“If we do that for the 90 minutes then the one goal will kick in, but we have to make sure we go looking to win the game.
“We’ve got many attacking threats throughout the team, and if we don’t utilise those then we take something out of our performance.
“We still have work do, though, without a doubt.”
One boost for Fleetwood will be the return from suspension of midfielder Alan Goodall, who served the final game of a three-match ban in the first leg.
Alexander, who is delighted to have Goodall back, added: “He did ever so well after breaking into the team in the new year and he gives us that defensive strength in midfield.”