Anthony Pilkington impresses Barry Nicholson with his calming influence at Fleetwood Town

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Anthony Pilkington can give a youthful Fleetwood Town side the benefits of his experience this season.


That’s the view of assistant boss Barry Nicholson, who singled out the winger for praise after Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Leicester City Under-21s in Town’s opening Papa John’s Trophy group game.

A summer signing following a season in India, Pilkington has featured in all seven Fleetwood games so far this season but has started only one of their five League One fixtures.

Anthony Pilkington's cool-headed play was a positive influence for Fleetwood's youngsters

Anthony Pilkington’s cool-headed play was a positive influence for Fleetwood’s youngsters

But the 33-year-old former Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town star can be a steadying influence in Fleetwood Town’s youthful side, and he certainly was playing from the start against the young Foxes.

Nicholson said: “He was chomping at the bit to get in the team and his performance was one of the better ones on the night.

“He showed some lovely touches. He always brings a calmness to our play and brings other people into play.

“His performance was excellent and I am sure he will be in the manager’s thoughts for the next game against Rotherham.”

But Nicholson believes Pilkington will be far from the only player to have given head coach Simon Grayson food for thought in Tuesday’s comprehensive Highbury win.

“All parts of the performances we are pleased about,” he added: “The start was important. We showed in the first five minutes that we were in control of the game and we went on from there.

“We probably would have liked to have played again off the back of this result,” added Nicholson, referring to the fact Town don’t return to action until a week on Saturday after Wigan Athletic called off this weekend’s scheduled fixture due to their international call-ups.

“But we have had a lot of games since the start of the season. It is a crazy schedule, so I am sure a few of us will be ready for a little break before we get back in to prepare for Rotherham.”