ROSLER SALUTES HIS COD ARMY HEROES AHEAD OF CRUNCH CLASH
AHEAD of what could prove to be the most crucial game in Fleetwood Town’s history, Uwe Rosler has stopped to appreciate the view.
Upon arriving at Highbury Stadium at the end of July, the 48-year-old former Leeds, Wigan and Brentford manager laid out his vision of instilling a ‘top-six mentality’ that would produce ‘top-six results’.
On the final day of the season, that dream has been fully realised – with Fleetwood having already secured a play-off spot and the chance to play for a first-ever promotion to the second tier of English football.
However, things could be even sweeter for the Cod Army – who only came up from Non-League for the first time in 2012 – this afternoon.
Victory over relegationthreatened Port Vale, coupled with Bolton losing at home to Peterborough, would see Rosler’s men snatch an automatic promotion spot.
The Fleetwood chief is delighted with his side’s current situation and has relished witnessing his players develop into something special over an excellent campaign.
“I think everyone is surprised and that is the beauty of my job,” said Rosler, who led Brentford to the 2013 League One play-off final.
“One of the most exciting things for me is when you see players buying into things, getting better, and forming a team ethic that takes us to unbelievable heights.
“I enjoy to see those players developing and to see a
team fight every single game.
“I think my players have been tremendous. I thought nothing could top my Brentford players but these players did that.
“This group of players always find a way and to reach 81 points with one game to go is unbelievable.
“The club has accelerated at an unbelievable tempo over the years but especially in the last eight or nine months. After the season, we all need to reflect and see what we can do for next season.
“We need to sit down and think with a cool head because what we have done so far is unthinkable for our club.”
Striker Devante Cole, 21, and 25-year-old defender Cian Bolger, who had been struggling with groin and knee injuries respectively, are pushing for starting places after coming off the bench in Fleetwood’s dramatic 3-2 win over Gillingham last weekend.
Midfielder Jimmy Ryan, 28, who has been out since November with a foot injury, could also play.
Today’s showdown is also crucial for Port Vale, who go into the game in the fourth and final relegation spot. Chris Eagles popped up with a crucial late winner at Walsall in midweek to give Vale a lifeline and, realistically, they need to beat Fleetwood to have a chance of staying up.
Caretaker-manager Michael Brown said: “It was still a bit quiet at Walsall – even afterwards, they weren’t celebrating. They started preparing straight away with massages etc.
“Don’t get me wrong, they enjoyed it. It was a good place to be but the most important one now is Fleetwood.”
Forward Rigino Cicilia, 22, is available for Vale’s date with destiny following suspension, while former Burnley and Reading defender Andre Bikey, 32, who arrived at Vale Park in March, could also be in contention to start after coming on as a late sub at Walsall.