Fleetwood striker McAleny faces late checks

Conor McAleny
Conor McAleny

Fleetwood Town boss Uwe Rosler says the club will make a late call on the fitness of star striker Conor McAleny for tomorrow’s game against Southend.

McAleny made his comeback after a five-week lay-off with an ankle injury as a second-half substitute in the 4-1 defeat at Portsmouth last weekend.

The 25-year-old had been out of action since the second League One game of the season at Northampton but replaced Aiden O’Neill at half-time at Fratton Park.

The striker did take a hit on that ankle during the game and Rosler says he is doubtful for tomorrow’s Highbury clash.

He said: “One or two knocks coming out of the (Portsmouth) game ... and we see if they are ready for Saturday or not.

“Conor is one of them. It will be a late one for us to see if he is ready.”

McAleny, signed on a free transfer from Everton in the summer, has never managed to play 30 games in a season and Rosler said: “With Conor it was never about ability or about scoring goals – our challenge was to put him on the pitch. Now he is back, or nearly back, we will see.

“Against Portsmouth, 45 minutes was very important for him and for the team. We will see for Saturday.”

One man who will definitely not feature at Highbury tomorrow is Kyle Dempsey.

The 22-year-old will serve a one-match ban after picking up two yellow cards and a subsequent red at Portsmouth.

Rosler says the midfielder will be missed but his absence provides an opportunity for others to shine, just like George Glendon did when Jimmy Ryan picked up a season-ending injury at Port Vale last year.

Asked if Dempsey would be missed, Rosler said: “That we will see on Saturday!

“In the past, especially last year, we were always capable of replacing top players. People came in and did a good job for us, and we were still winning games.

“I hope and I wish that we are doing that this Saturday.

“Obviously Kyle has been very good so far this season for us. I think he has made the step already compared to last year.

“I think he has grown as the person he sees himself and we see him as a key player.

“As a key player he influences our way of play in midfield and obviously he is a miss, but that gives other very good players a chance to shine and we did that last year very well.

“I believe in my players. In most of their attempts they never let me down on willingness and that is the base on which we go into Saturday’s game.”