First team coach Barry Nicholson spoke to the press after Fleetwood Town defeated Sunderland 2-1 in the Papa John’s Trophy at Highbury on Tuesday night.
The Black cats took the lead in the game through a first-half strike from Callum McFadzean but Fleetwood came back in the second half and finished the group stage with a perfect record thanks to goals from Barrie McKay and Mark Duffy.
Here’s what he had to say:
On turning the game around…
“I think the main difference was the team’s intensity, the pressing off the ball, and the intensity with the ball. It’s simple if you run hard things happen for you.
“That’s what it was like the second half, we just upped the intensity without the ball which allowed us to get further up the pitch and score a couple of goals.
“All the boys showed a great response to get back in the game in the second half, as soon as we got the equaliser we were on top, and as soon as we got the second one we got the confidence to keep controlling the game.”
On senior player’s performances…
“We always knew this was going to be Jordan’s (Rossiter) first game back, the medical staff and the manager were all keen on him getting 45 minutes so that was the reason he came off at half time.
“I think Josh Morris and Baz McKay gave us a real platform at the front of the pitch, I thought Josh competed really well and then Barrie upped his tempo from the first half, those two’s performance set the platform for the rest of the lads.
“The senior boys have got to take these games as a proper game and I thought their attitudes were spot on tonight, for example Barrie McKay running 70 yards after a corner and winning the ball back for us and I think that epitomised our second-half performance.”
On the squad’s attitude…
“The team showed great character to not give up, all the teams we’ve got whether it’s the first team, the under 23s the under 18s the whole club is about never giving in.
“The manager is willing to give these young boys a chance and they have to make sure they’re ready. The younger boys fitted into the shape nicely and have done themselves no harm again.”
Watch Barry’s interview on our iFollow HERE.