Conor is made to wait for his treble
CONOR McAleny’s two goals fired Fleetwood Town to an impressive opening day win over Rotherham – but he still was not a happy man.
McAleny, a summer arrival at Highbury Stadium from Everton, enjoyed the dream debut as he scored a goal in either half to clinch the points.
But the striker was left furious after boss Uwe Rosler took him off shortly after his second, denying him the chance of a debut hat-trick.
“Conor has settled in really well. He came to us with his own desire of playing a big chunk of game,” said Rosler.
“I told him he needs to trust me. He wasn’t happy. He wanted his hat-trick – I understand that. I used to be a striker, but we have to look at the bigger picture.
“We need to keep him fit, we need him on the pitch. This is a big step in the right direction.”
Fleetwood were worthy winners against a Rotherham side getting used to League One following their relegation last term.
The hosts could have led 3-0 by the break as after McAleny broke the deadlock with a neat finish from Bobby Grant’s cross, Jordy Hiwula hit the post and then Grant fired over from a good position.
After a strong Rotherham response early in the second half, Fleetwood weathered the storm and killed the game when McAleny beat Richard O’Donnell at his near post.
Rosler added: “We showed two really good phases. The first half we played really well. We created the most chances, we were organised and looked a real threat.
“In the second half, it was a lot more difficult. The wind made it difficult to clear our lines.
“They are physically strong players, they are a very fit team, they have all the attributes you need to get out of this division.
“They pushed us to the limit. We ground out a clean sheet and a good win.”
It was a tough introduction to life back in the third tier for the Millers, who are aiming to bounce back from a horror season last year.
Boss Paul Warne was frank in his assesment and said: “Our season isn’t judged by the first game.
“The stats show we had more possession, more attempts on goal, more corners – we just didn’t have the cutting edge.
“I think it was a rude awakening for the some of the lads about the intensity of this league.
“The first 20 minutes was absolute mayhem.
“There's a big difference between playing friendlies and the real McCoy.”