Uwe Rosler says he can see light at the end of the tunnel as Fleetwood’s walking wounded start to trudge back into contention.
Town’s firepower has been dented in recent weeks due to injuries to Bobby Grant (knee) and Conor McAleny (ankle), and the suspension and broken hand inflicted on Lewie Coyle which forced forward Wes Burns to fill in at right wing-back.
Those absences left Town light up top, with Grant and McAleny out for the past four weeks and Coyle suspended since the FA Cup win at Chorley on November 6.
Town have just one win from their last nine League One games but bounced back from last Tuesday’s 4-2 defeat at Walsall to play out a 0-0 draw with near neighbours Blackpool.
As Town prepare for an FA Cup second-round clash with Hereford this Saturday, Rosler is confident that Coyle at least will be back in his squad, with McAleny hopefully returning to the grass at Poolfoot Farm this week.
Coyle’s return will give Town more competition up front as Burns would be freed to fight it out with Jordy Hiwula, Devante Cole and Ash Hunter for a starting spot in attack.
Rosler said: “Next week hopefully we will have at least one player back, so that will give us more competition.
“We need more competition in certain positions and it is not long before that will happen again.
“Then I think our level of performance and our level of attacking play will go up.”
One player who could be missing in coming weeks is Cian Bolger, who was booked in the 90th minute of Saturday’s clash for a bad foul on Nathan Delfouneso.
That was the defender’s ninth caution of the campaign and one more will result in a two-match suspension. Bolger has been booked in four of his five games this month.
Rosler praised his defence for bouncing back from the Walsall defeat as Alex Cairns kept his 20th clean sheet in 44 league games for Town in 2017 – the best shut-out tally of the year in the top four tiers.
Rosler said: “I think we did really well until the last 15 minutes, then we got tired. It was our third game in a week.
“Cian made a mistake again that cost him a yellow card.
“He got a little bit tired and made some decision- making errors, but apart from the last 10 minutes I was very pleased with our defensive work.
“Nathan Pond was outstanding for me. Cian Bolger was very good, Ash Eastham very good.
“We coped against quite an attacking side really well. We got the clean sheet but we did not create enough clear-cut chances.
“The most important thing was how we bounced back after Tuesday. When we play like that, we will be all right this season.”
Striker Alex Reid has returned from his three-month loan spell with National League high-flyers Wrexham and is anticipated to feature for Town’s development squad against Southport tomorrow.
The 22-year-old, who scored in three of his first four games for Wrexham but has not netted in 14 matches since, could be in contention for this weekend’s FA Cup squad.