sport

Roberts: Cod Army can kick on

Fleetwood skipper Mark Roberts is confident the team can kick on again and compete in League One next season.

The Cod Army booked a spot in next year's third tier after Antoni Sarcevic's freak free-kick delivered victory over Burton in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Sunday as they clinched a remarkable sixth promotion in 10 seasons.

Central defender Roberts knows about both playing in that division and the euphoria of multiple promotions in a short period of time after leading Stevenage to back-to-back elevations in 2010 and 2011.

And he is confident that the winning mentality which has surrounded Highbury over the past decade stands them in good stead for the new campaign.

"People will say it's tough but I found when I went up with Stevenage that my game went on a level," Roberts, whose team beat four League One clubs in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy this season, said.

"I was surrounded by players that were determined to prove themselves, prove they were more than a match for League One opposition and we found ourselves in the play-offs.

"Anything can happen if you've got the belief. You've got to believe before you can achieve. I look at that dressing room and I'm surrounded by players who've got unbelievable ability but also that drive, that character, that personality that you need to keep improving.

"We don't want to stand still and we don't want to go up there and make up the numbers. We're not going to try and think too far ahead but I'm sure once the summer's gone and pre-season starts the gaffer's going to look for us all to kick on."

Fleetwood were the only side out of the 12 teams in the play-offs not to concede en route to promotion, an achievement which meant a lot to Roberts, central-defensive partner Nathan Pond and goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, who ended the campaign with a staggering 27 clean sheets in 48 games.

"It's the one thing I said to Pondy before the game: make sure we do our job and keep a clean sheet," Roberts added.

"We know we've got that solid foundation which we've shown particularly in the second half of the season. We've got the players who can hurt other teams, we've got match-winners all over the pitch and that has shown with Sarc's free-kick.

"At the start of the year we were probably seen as a flair team and one that was exciting to watch and who scored lots of goals. But you need to win in a number of different ways and that's one of the ways we've evolved as a football team. That's a really good sign, that's what all the successful teams do so well."