Sheridan deserves to go out on a high says Fleetwood's Nicholson

Departing boss John Sheridan
Departing boss John Sheridan
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Fleetwood first team coach Barry Nicholson praised departing head coach John Sheridan for the turnaround he engineered as Town celebrated League One  safety.

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It was a muted celebration given Town had lost 2-0 at Peterborough, though Rochdale’s defeat to Oxford had made 16th-placed Town’s survival mathematically certain.

Sheridan was unable to conduct the post-match press conference having lost his voice and Nicholson admitted his disappointment at the slip in standards.

Defensively Town have been sound under Sheridan but old frailties returned as Jack Marriott and George Cooper fired the Posh to victory with second-half strikes.

This was Fleetwood’s third straight defeat and now Nicholson wants Sheridan to receive the send-off and performance he deserves when Town host Walsall on Saturday.

Nicholson said: “At the point he came in, the players were really low and were struggling to get results.

“But he turned it around really quickly. Even in the first three games that we drew – against Charlton, Plymouth and MK Dons – I felt we probably did enough to win the games.

“He has done really well to get the results. The players have responded to him and it is just a bit disappointing that over the last two or three games we have let those standards drop again and have lost.

“But hopefully we can finish on a high next Saturday.”

Nicholson felt Town lacked a sprinkling of magic in the final third at London Road and he said this week will be spent focusing on ending the season on a high.

He added: “We were lacking that little bit of quality, that bit of magic from someone.

“We have had that in the last couple of weeks before the last couple of results.

“We have won games with a little bit of magic from Conor McAleny or Ash Hunter. They have popped up with a little bit but today we were lacking a little.

“I think the main thing now is that we get the boys together and finish on a real high next Saturday against Walsall, with the new manager coming in next summer.”

Sheridan made six changes for the clash, with Chris Neal replacing Alex Cairns in goal.

Nicholson says it was not a response to the previous weekend’s 4-0 defeat by Wigan, rather a chance to give the experienced shot-stopper some much-needed game time.

Nicholson explained: “It was just about game time for Chris. He has sat on the bench for the last few weeks and the manager has decided to give him a game.”

One of those six changes was enforced as striker Wes Burns picked up an injury in training.

But Nicholson said it is not a long-term setback.

“Wes had a little niggle in training on Friday but he won’t be too long,” he said.

“He just picked it up in training and so he was not risked.”