After a setback on Wednesday night at Bristol Rovers, City head on the road yet again for their fourth away match out of five with a trip to Fleetwood on Saturday. Paul Tisdale made one change to his line-up on Wednesday with John O’Flynn coming in for Jake Gosling, but he may be tempted to go back to a 4-5-1 with either Gosling or Jimmy Keohane coming in to the line-up. The fitness of Tom Doherty will also need to be monitored, the veteran has been a key part of City’s recent form and Tisdale will hope he is fit enough to start.
Fleetwood, bankrolled by millionaire businessman Andy Pilley, have done probably as well as expected following their sweep through the divisions into the Football League, although they need to recapture some of the form they showed earlier in the season if they are to get their promotion push back on track – the Codmen are currently on a 4-match run without a win. Since playing City in November they took the somewhat unexpected step of dispensing with the manager who had got them this far, Micky Mellon, and replaced him with ex-Burnley and Preston stalwart Graham Alexander. One possible explanation for their recent dip in form could be the departure of loanee Barry Ferguson, who put in a masterclass of passing at The Park in November, but their main threat will come from “The Beast”, Jon Parkin, and from 10-goal Junior Brown. City’s forwards too will maybe be sad to know they no longer have the behemoth Steve McNulty (a player so chunky he makes your preview writer look anorexic!) to contend with after his January window move to Luton.
Unsurprisingly given Fleetwood’s recent meteoric rise, this will be the first time City have visited Highbury (if your Sat Nav takes you anywhere near North London rather than Blackpool, you’re in trouble!). The reverse fixture was a thrilling 2-2 draw (according to the Press Association played in front of just 354…!) which saw City twice having to come back from behind (McNulty and Nicholson) through goals from Cureton and a penalty from O’Flynn.
Exeweb’s ground guide to Highbury, travel, pubs and the ground:http://www.exeweb.com/2012/07/17/the-things-you-need-to-know-highbury-stadium/