Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler says he can see light at the end of the tunnel as Town’s injury crisis fades.
Skipper Nathan Pond and midfielder Martyn Woolford, who has been out since November with an ankle injury, were back on the bench for Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Bury, with Rosler revealing that striker Wes Burns (ankle) is due to return to training.
It is hoped that Jimmy Ryan (foot), Devante Cole (groin) and keeper Chris Neal will also be available before the end of the season.
Rosler is confident more players will return during the remaining seven League One games to add fresh legs and energy to his third-placed side.
The head coach said: “What makes me optimistic is that players are coming back.
“Pondy will play on Tuesday in an internal game, get some minutes under his belt and he will then be available for Saturday (at home to Swindon). That is a positive.
“Wes Burns is training more or less very soon with us.
“When players are out for two or three months and then come in for the final stages of the season, they have a lot of energy.
“Maybe they do not have 100 per cent match sharpness, but they have a lot of energy and a lot of willingness to show themselves. I think that can work in our favour.
“I didn’t write off Devante Cole either, so we will get our players back and then we are a different proposition.”
Town’s second successive goalless draw enabled Bolton to move six points clear in the second automatic promotion spot, though there is now a nine-point gap between Town and the leading team outside the play-off zone, Millwall.
Rosler stressed again that he is targeting five more points for 74 – the maximum total required for a top-six finish in the last five seasons.
David Ball and Ash Hunter are Town’s only full fit strikers and Rosler admits his firepower is limited,though he took comfort from a sixth clean sheet in seven games.
Rosler said: “We have our challenges at the moment, especially up front.
“Our strength throughout the season was that we could rotate the striking pairs. We always had energy and pace up front and at the moment with the injuries we are a little bit limited.
“I know we can play better but it is a vital point, another point towards our 74.”
Fleetwood’s Conor McLaughlin played the full 90 minutes as Northern Ireland boosted their World Cup qualification hopes with a 2-0 win over Norway in Belfast.
Michael O’Neill’s side remain second in Group C, five points behind Germany.
Fleetwood’s George Glendon came on as a 74th-minute substitute four days after appearing in court charged with the rape of a woman in the Grimbsy area in February last year.
Rosler said of the midfielder: “I think business as usual. As long as he is mentally and physically in the right shape I will pick him either on the bench or from the start.”