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Crainey: "The football we played was excellent, but now we need to maintain that standard"

13 July 2022

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Fleetwood Town's Development Squad coach, Stephen Crainey spoke to us after his sides 2-0 win over AFC Blackpool in the team's first pre-season match.

First half goals from Max McMillan and Will Russ gave Crainey’s side the victory on Tuesday night, but it was a game which Fleetwood created many chances and dominated possession throughout the 90 minutes.

Here’s what Crainey had to say after the match:

On the 90 minutes against AFC Blackpool...

“I am really pleased for the lads who got minutes on the pitch today. We’ve been in pre-season training for three weeks now and everybody has been itching to get a game, and I thought first half the lads were really good on what was a difficult surface.

"The mentality of the lads was excellent, but as you do in the first match of pre-season, you tire and that’s what we did in the second half. It’s about us nudging those fitness levels day in day out and maintaining the standard we showed in the first 45 minutes for longer periods in the next match we play.

“It was great to see both of our forward players get a goal each tonight in both Max and Will. This will without doubt give them plenty of confidence – and on the flip side, we kept a clean sheet and that again will give our back line and whole team more confidence.

“The type of football we played on this pitch was excellent and, on another day, we could have scored maybe five or six goals. We do have to credit AFC Blackpool who stuck at their game plan and got after us more in the second half. Overall, I am very happy with how everything went."

On pre-season…

“The lads have been excellent. Their application since day one has been spot on and people who know me, I won’t settle for anything else. My players will now have to maintain those high standards for the rest of pre-season, but also throughout the rest of the campaign.

“At this level in football, it’s about getting as many minutes into the lads’ legs as possible. Ultimately, they will be judged on what they do on the pitch to see if they can make the step up into the first team and for me it’s looking ahead to our next pre-season match."

On the first year scholars who made their Under-23s debut…

“It was a great exercise for my lads and also the scholars who stepped in today. It was great for those younger lads to experience this level of football, playing against men and for me, it was a brilliant workout and now it’s about maintaining those levels and pushing on.”

Make sure you are in the stands to watch the Cod Army during the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season by getting your very own Onward Card. Adult tickets start at just £14.17 a month and Under-16s from just £1.92 a month. Details on this season's cards are HERE.


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