ROSLER SALUTES HIS COD ARMY HE­ROES AHEAD OF CRUNCH CLASH

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dan Barnes

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.

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