Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler praised striker Conor McAleny for his unselfish teamwork in helping new left-back Kevin O’Connor adapt to a new way of playing at Town.
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O’Connor was given a baptism of fire and thrown straight into the starting line-up for Fleetwood’s 2-1 defeat at Gillingham on Saturday.
The full-back only arrived at Town on loan from Championship club Preston North End last Thursday and went straight into the slot vacated by Amari’i Bell, who joined Blackburn Rovers this month.
After just four starts and eight appearances for North End, O’Connor had to learn about a new defensive style on the spot at his new club.
Rosler praised the 22-year-old for developing during the game and for a solid second-half performance.
But he also credited striker McAleny for his defensive work as he dropped deep from his position on the left of the front three to help protect Town’s wing in the first half.
Speaking of former Cork City man O’Connor’s (left) debut , Rosler said: “I think he got really good help by Conor McAleny.
“I think Conor sacrificed himself to shut down that side. The first half was tough for Kevin and Conor helped him so much.
“He was not really familiar when to go out and when to stay in because every team tries to defend a different way. I think that in the first half they attacked us on that side.
“In the second half we addressed that tactic a little bit and Kevin was really good – nothing happened on that side.
“Under the circumstances, playing against that Gillingham team with the points tally they have from the last 15 or 16 games, I felt Kevin was rock solid the longer the second half went on.”