Rosler welcomes scrap for shirts

Devante Cole and David Ball battle for the ball
Devante Cole and David Ball battle for the ball

Uwe Rosler says there is a fight for places in his Fleetwood team at AFC Wimbledon tomorrow, with the return of some established players anticipated.

Midfield maestro Jimmy Ryan is expected to be back in contention after recovering from the foot injury that saw him limp off at Port Vale a fortnight ago.

On-loan Burnley striker Chris Long has been suspended since that game, having been sent off for headbutting.

Town have won all three of the games the duo have missed, with on-loan Manchester City midfielder George Glendon filling the experienced Ryan’s shoes impressively.

In Long’s absence strikers David Ball, Ashley Hunter and Aaron Amadi-Holloway have all found the net.

After three home wins, Town are back on the road to face a Wimbledon side who sit one place above them in League One (seventh) and are yet to lose this month.

And head coach Rosler is pleased to have a fight for places. He said: “We have players back from injury

“We have had established players injured and suspended. Now we have a fight for the shirt, which is what we wish to have.”

Full-back Michael Duckworth (groin) is still a doubt and midfielder Martyn Woolford is expected to be out for months with knee ligament damage.

Town have scored in all 19 League One games and Rosler added: “I’m confident we can score and I was pleased with our general defensive work. In my teams we start (defending) from the top, which is effective, and we have proved that we can score goals.”

Striker Devante Cole is yet to score in the league this season but Rosler again stressed he judges him not on goals but on his all-round performance – the 21-year-old notched up his eighth assist of the season to tee up Conor McLaughlin for the opener in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Shrewsbury.

Rosler added: “Devante sometimes goes away from games having not scored and having missed one or two chances, but sometimes you also have to be happy with how you have performed.

The former Manchester City frontman knows that worrying about scoring can affect a striker’s state of mind.

He explained: “I think that when you are a goalscorer and you measure your game only on goals, sometimes you chase the happiness you need.

“That is why I said from day one that I am not only judging him on goals but onwhat he puts in for the team.

“On Tuesday he was not chasing a goal – he was chasing a good performance and that is what we got.”