Fleetwood Town’s new head coach John Sheridan says he is surprised the club are in a relegation battle given the quality of their squad.
But now the 53-year-old is at the helm, he is determined to end their eight-game losing run and fix whatever went wrong under former head coach Uwe Rosler when Town host MK Dons on Saturday.
It is as a massive game given the fact the Dons are five points behind Town who are just out of the relegation zone on goal difference – ironically ahead of one of Sheridan’s former clubs in Oldham Athletic.
If they do suffer their ninth defeat in a row the Dons will cut the gap and boost their own chances of survival.
But Sheridan is determined to get things back on track when asked if he was surprised that Town find themselves in their current situation.
He said: “Yes, I am. I’ve been a manager and played against them; I’m surprised with the quality they have in their squad.
“For some reason they are were they are. Something is not right – hopefully we can turn it around.”
Unlike Rosler, who was sacked after a 3-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers last weekend, Sheridan has experience of guiding teams out of a relegation battle in English football.
He has penned a deal until the end of the season and was a surprise appointment.
Town were expected to recruit someone who had worked in a head coach role or a young up-and-coming manager to work in the European model under technical director Gretar Steinsson.
Instead chairman Andy Pilley has opted for an experienced manager.
And when asked about taking on a new head coach role for the first time rather than a managerial role Sheridan says he classes himself as a manager.
He said: “I’m a manager, not a head coach.
“I’ve come in to manage the team.
“I think that is my best job, that is what I’m best at.
“It is not head coach, well you can call it head coach – call it whatever you want – but I class myself as a manager.”
And Sheridan believes this team will stay up as they embark on a 13-game season.
He said: “It is one of those things. I’ve come in, I’ve got the opportunity I’m just going to give my ideas and my thoughts of what we can do and hopefully help the team get the results and after.
“We will find out if it works.
“I’m very confident in myself and I’m confident when I look at the players and the squad that we can do it.
“I’ve got a massive belief we can do it and I’ve got to breed that into the players.”
George Glendon is expected to be back in contention after missing the last few games due to a calf knock sustained in the 3-2 defeat against Scunthorpe United.
Three other players have also come back into contention for the weekend.
Toumani Diagouraga, Jordy Hiwula and Kevin O’Connor were left out of caretaker boss Barry Nicholson’s squad for Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth.
All three were not injured but Sheridan says it will be a fresh start with everyone considered to help try and get Town back to winning ways.
He said: “Different managers pick different players and think differently of players so there is good quality in the squad.
“We will have a look at them and I know enough about most of the players.
“They have all got an opportunity, I want them all to believe they have got an opportunity and a chance of playing.
“That is the way I will work with them all. I will keep them all together, treat them the same and hopefully as a group we will get over the line.”