Striker Happy With Goal But Disappointed With Result
Town striker Liam McAlinden had an afternoon of mixed emotions at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday as Fleetwood’s late equaliser cancelled out his early strike.
The 22-year-old scored after just six minutes when Jordan Clark’s goal-bound shot was diverted in off the on-loan forward in what was only his second league start of the season.
“It’s definitely come off me and as a striker you’ll take every goal as it comes so I am definitely claiming it,” said Liam when asked to clear up the actual goal-scorer. “It was great to get an early lead and it’s exactly what the team wanted. We talked in the changing rooms how we wanted to go out and start firing and that’s what we’ve done. It’s just unlucky that we can’t hold on at the end.
“Obviously when you concede a late goal everyone’s going to be disappointed and I think the lads feel we could’ve held out a bit better for the three points.
“There’s disappointment around the changing room but you’ve got to look at the positives from the game and we did get a point and it’s a step in the right direction coming off the last game so hopefully we can kick on on Monday now and get three points.
“Every game everyone give 100% and if we don’t win the game we’re disappointed but hopefully on Monday we can get the right result against Crewe.”
With fellow on-loan forward Sullay Kaikai having been recalled from parent club Crystal Palace in midweek, boss Micky Mellon decided to start McAlinden in order to get some pace at the top end of the field.
McAlinden admitted to being frustrated at a lack of game time but is hopeful his recent showing has put his name firmly in the manager’s mind.
“As a player it’s frustrating,” he admitted. “I came here to play as many games as I can and I’m not going to hide that I was frustrated but I knew if I carried on working hard and kept training hard that the Gaffer will give me a chance and it’s come today.
“Hopefully I’ve played well and given a good performance for the team.
“In the end we’ve only ended up drawing but I’ve played my part in the game and hopefully I can play again Monday and go one better.
“As a striker you want to go out and score goals and hopefully it means the team get the right result but today that hasn’t been the case but we go again and we’ll see what we get on Monday.”
The festive period has seen Town face teams in and around them in the lower half of the League One table and despite a return of only one point from two of those games, McAlinden is adamant that the dressing room still has belief.
“The confidence is good,” said McAlinden. “We know we’re good players and we know we can get out of this.
“The games are tough but it’s everyone around us so three points can be massive when you can get them and you can start jumping plenty of places up the league.
“The lads are confident going into the games and we all know we can jump higher in this league because we’re a good set of lads and we work hard. If we can get the right result Monday and then go into Chesterfield, who are another team around us, we can start climbing the league.”
Amongst the watching crowd on Boxing Day was Crewe manager Steve Davis, who was casting an eye over his side’s next opponents having seen his team’s fixture at Rochdale postponed.
But McAlinden doesn’t feel the extra rest for their opponents will make too much of a difference.
“We want to play football, it’s all we’ve wanted to do since we were kids,” he added.
“When the games come quick and fast we enjoy it. You don’t want to be out on the training pitch all the time you want to be playing games where you enjoy yourself so the lads are relishing the quick games.
“Hopefully our ability will shine through and we’ll start clicking and we’ll get the right results.
“Every game’s important to us. We want to go out and win every game but when they’re in and around you there is that added pressure that comes with it but the lads will take that and we’ll go into every other game hoping to win.”