Skipper ready for two legged affair against York City
Mark Roberts has called on Fleetwood Town to call on their past experiences to ensure the Cod Army’s upcoming play-off campaign is a ‘winning one.’
Preparations are underway as Fleetwood prepare to take on York City over two legs for a play-off final berth at Wembley Stadium later this month.
Town will travel to face Nigel Worthington’s Ministermen on Saturday afternoon, before return to Highbury Stadium a week on Friday for the crucial home second-leg.
Club captain Roberts, who has experienced three play-offs in his career, believes the experience amongst Graham Alexander’s squad will be crucial in ensuring that it is Fleetwood that book their place in the Wembley final.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 30-year-old said: “I’ve had three experiences of play-offs, one very good one, but also two very disappointing ones.
“There will be plenty of experience to draw upon, which other players within the squad also have.
“It’s up to players like myself, and other players that have that have been involved in play-offs, to draw upon that experience, but for the players that haven’t it is a fantastic opportunity.
“It’s the most enjoyable time of the season, the most exciting time of the season, they are the kind of games everyone want to be part and we have all worked so hard for it.
“If you win three games you play League 1 football next year. It’s as simple as that.
“There will be a bit of luck here and there and a decision by referees will come into play but, ultimately, the team that is the most confident, the most organised and the most disciplined team will come out on top.”
The Cod Army ended their regular season with a 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield – only their second defeat in 14 games – and victory saw the Spireites lift the Sky Bet League 2 title.
Chesterfield also denied Fleetwood another Wembley visit back in February after winning 3-2 on aggregate in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final and after watching Paul Cook’s side lift the trophy, Roberts insists that he wants to end the season in the same fashion.
“We have been to Chesterfield twice and we came so close in the JPT as well, we have got that experience as a squad to draw on after coming so close to achieving a Wembley final.
“We have also got that experience of being in the dressing room after coming so close and we don’t want to feel like that again. That’s very important for this squad and it has made stronger as a whole.
“When you’re watching Chesterfield celebrating and you see what it means to them and it makes you realise what you can experience as a player.
“It’s never easy to watch another team celebrate, but you have to understand that in three weeks time that could be us as well.”
Roberts has already savoured play-off victory before in his career after he captained Stevenage to a 1-0 victory over Torquay United in the League 2 play-off final at Old Trafford back in 2011 and Town’s skipper can see the similarities between the two sides.
“We as a team managed to produce our very best form of the season in those three games.
“We beat a very in form Accrington team, a team that had a really good second half of the season, a bit like ourselves at the time, but we managed to produce our very best.
“That’s what we will be aiming to do here at Fleetwood. The squads been in really food form for the last two of three months coming up to the end of the season, we have won a lot of games and we’ve gone away to places and won at difficult places.
“There is a real good team spirit around the place and we’re all really looking forward to the games.
“We would have loved to have gained automatic promotion of course, but winning the play-offs is like winning the cup and league all in one. We all want a day out at Wembley, but we want a winning one."
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