Now we’re fully Free to focus on promotion
WHILE Bristol City fans look forward to a first trip to Wembley since 2008, Luke Freeman insists the players have no such luxury ahead of a crucial month of league action.
City held a 4-2 lead over Gillingham going into the second leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final on Thursday night.
Striker Matt Smith, who will miss the final with his loan from Fulham unable to be extended, headed the Robins into a 17thminute lead – adding to his four first-leg goals – and although Gills winger Jermaine McGlashan equalised before halftime, Steve Cotterill’s side held on for a 5-3 aggregate win and a place in the final against Walsall.
Currently embroiled in a promotion battle at the top of League One, they face 11 league matches before that game on March 22, starting with Fleetwood today.
Midfielder Freeman, 22, said: “It’s definitely an exciting time. I’ve never played at Wembley but I dreamed of it as a young lad growing up, so I can’t wait.
“It was a difficult game against Gillingham but we managed to get the job done, which is the most important thing and we’re through to Wembley.
“It’s all about the league now and getting three points against Fleetwood.
“We can put the cup competitions to bed for the moment and look forward to the final when it comes.
“We’ve got a big month coming up.”
While Bristol City’s promotion push was expected, Fleetwood’s is a little more surprising.
The Cod Army are on the verge of the play-off places after an impressive run that has seen them lose just one of their last five games.
Midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, 22, said: “For Fleetwood to be up there in League One shows how far the lads have come.
“Bring on Bristol City – we’ll give them a test. I don’t want to rush ahead and say we can do anything in terms of where we finish, but we go into every game confident. We’re a tightknit unit and we’ll surprise a few people.”
KEY MAN MATT SMITH Bristol