Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler says he has never worked with a group of players like his current “special” crop.
In a 13-year managerial career, Rosler has coached three clubs in the Norwegian top division, then guided Brentford and Wigan into the play-offs.
After a short spell at Leeds and nine months out of football, Rosler took over at Highbury days before the start of this season and has steered Town into third place, with their best-ever points tally in League One.
Unsurprisingly, there has been speculation linking the 48-year-old with other clubs after a Fleetwood squad which escaped relegation on the final day of last season was transformed into one which has been beaten only once in 22 league games and is within six points of an automatic promotion spot with seven games to play.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Rosler praised his “amazing” squad. He said: “I have never worked with a group of players like this. I never thought I would say that after my time at Brentford, where I had a magnificent squad, but this squad of players is something special.
“This group had so many knock-backs which were not reported massively in the media – we kept it in-house.
“But how they always find a way to get results, to not get beaten, to come back late in games is amazing for me.”
As many of Town’s players have not been in this position before, Rosler says there is a need for realistic and achievable targets as the final month of the season beckons – he has called for five more points for a total of 74, which history suggests would be enough for a play-off spot.
Two players who have been in this position before are Town’s record-breaking captain Nathan Pond, who has been involved in all seven promotions since the club’s North West Counties League days, and midfielder Martyn Woolford, who scored in Scunthorpe’s League One Play-off Final win over Millwall in 2009.
Both were on the bench at Bury last weekend after injury. Woolford has since played an hour and Pond 45 minutes in Tuesday’s development squad game.
Ash Eastham believes his fellow defender will be vital in the run-in. He said of Pond: “He is a good pal and very experienced. It is great to have him back around.
“He is a great influence on the squad and I’m looking forward to playing with him again. In the changing room before games you would think he is playing, geeing the lads up.
“We have a pretty young squad, so we need people like him and some of the big characters to see us through the season.”