PREVIEW: Wanderers v Fleetwood Town

Wanderers bring the curtain down on an impressive campaign when they take on relegation-threatened Fleetwood Town in a lunchtime kick-off.

Ian Evatt’s in-form side are looking a fourth successive win which would guarantee a top-10 finish and could see them overhaul Portsmouth for ninth spot.

Town’s concern is the bottom four as they look to get the result they need – or rely on others – to avoid the drop.

The Wanderers’ squad will embark on a lap of appreciation after the game to show their thanks to the supporters for their superb backing over another season of progress they are aiming to end on a high.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “The message has been positive with the players all week that we want to finish on a high and finish with a win, because if we don’t it can leave a bitter taste.

“It’s full tilt, ready to play and hopefully win the game.

“There’s still an opportunity to get ninth place, depending on the Sheffield Wednesday-Portsmouth result and how we get on.

“We just need to take care of our business. There’s something on the game. Fleetwood are fighting for their lives in a relegation fight and we have to make sure we’re professional and do our job – for ourselves more than anything else.”

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Fleetwood Town manager Stephen Crainey: “It’s a one-game season now and that’s how we are looking at it.

“It’s still in our own hands. If we go to Bolton and win then we stay in this league, regardless of what happens anywhere else, so we need to focus on what we do and make sure we turn up on the day.

“It’s going to be a tough game as they are a good side at home, with a big crowd, so we are hoping the lads can withstand the pressure and get over the line.

“Bolton are going to want to finish on a high and I think with it being a home game, they are going to want to show the supporters what they have got for the upcoming season. We want to go and win the game – that is our main focus over the next few days – we are going there to win the game at the weekend.”

Team news:

Wanderers are without midfielder MJ Williams, who suffered a broken bone in his hand in last Saturday’s win at Cheltenham Town.

Captain Ricardo Santos is also still out, along with midfielder Kieran Lee and the other long-term absentees.

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Form guide:

Wanderers are finishing with a flourish thanks to three successive wins and a seven-match unbeaten run.

The Whites have lost just one of their last 11 home games and need a point to guarantee 10th place.

A big win could lift them to ninth depending on how Portsmouth fare in their finale at promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

Fleetwood have won just one of their last 20 games.

However, Town have lost just three of their last eight to remain out of the bottom four on goal difference.

Matching Gillingham’s result at home to Rotherham should be enough to keep them up – bar an AFC Wimbledon home win over Accrington Stanley and a major goals’ swing.

Last meeting:

Fleetwood Town 3-0 Wanderers | Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Wanderers suffered a tough night on the Fylde coast as their hopes of picking up a first point in five away games were blown off course by Storm Barra.

Horrendous conditions and a growing injury list took their toll on the Whites who fell behind to an early Ged Garner striker.

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Wanderers had knocked a younger Fleetwood side out of the Papa John’s Trophy a week earlier.

But the prospects of a repeat victory further diminished when skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos was sent off with just under 20 minutes to go.

The Whites had been building up a head of steam but hopes off a comeback were killed off as Harrison Briggs struck twice on the break to give interim Town boss Stephen Crainey his first win.

Wanderers: Dixon; Aimson (Amaechi 67), Santos, Johnston; Gordon, Lee, Thomason, John; Kachunga, Doyle (Baptiste 75), Afolayan. Substitutes: Gilks, Delfouneso, Tweedley, Conway, Pettifer.


Referee: Martin Coy

Assistant referees: Bradley Hall and Joe Clark

Fourth official: Chris Isherwood


Saturday 12.30pm


Tickets are still available to official club members, with details HERE

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