It will be a case of friends reunited tonight for Uwe Rosler and Carlisle boss Keith Curle – a man the Fleetwood head coach says was always destined to be in the dug-out.
Curle and Rosler spent two years together at Manchester City from 1994-96, when City skipper Curle helped Rosler adapt to English football after his switch from the continent.
But Rosler knows all too well that Curle’s Carlisle side will head to Highbury determined to cause an upset in their League Cup first-round clash tonight – like they did last term by beating Town 4-2 in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Rosler said: “I have known Keith for a long time. He was my captain when I joined City.
“He helped me a lot when I tried to find my feet in an English way of life and also in English football. He was a good captain and he looked after the players really well.
“For me it was always clear he would end up in management. You could see already he was a manager and a coach when he was playing.
“I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of time for him. He hates to lose and I know his team will be up for it.”
Rosler is not the only Curle fan at Fleetwood. Young gun Kyle Dempsey benefited from Curle’s arrival at Brunton Park in his breakthrough season.
After netting 10 times in that 2014-15 campaign, the now 21-year-old Dempsey sealed a big move to Huddersfield.
This summer the Cumbrian joined Town permanently as he transformed last season’s loan deal into a permanent move.
And he says Curle gave him the confidence to kick on. “I think I scored five goals in six games and I hit a really good streak when Keith came in,” Dempsey recalled.
“He gave me all the confidence I needed. He backed me from the start and I think you could see that from the season I had.”
And the Carlisle youth product hopes, if selected, to show his old club how much he has developed. He said: “I can’t wait just to be playing in front of the Carlisle fans. It will give them a chance to see how much of a step I have taken.
“I have always got good things to say about Carlisle. I still support them but it will be really interesting to play against them.
“One thing the fans will know is that I will be giving it 100 per cent for Fleetwood. I won’t be holding back.”
Rosler says his team is a work in progress. “I think the new players are bringing new elements to us,” he said. “I think it is a good mix of what we’ve brought in and what we already had, but it is too early to make conclusions.”
There will be many up and downs but so far so good”