Sheridan tells Fleetwood attackers to focus fully on goals

Conor McAleny   Picture: CameraSport
Conor McAleny Picture: CameraSport
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New Fleetwood boss John Sheridan will judge his strikers on one thing only: goals.

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In contrast to Uwe Rosler’s defending-from-the- front strategy, Sheridan has given his forwards more of a licence to thrill in a bid for the goals that will keep Town in League One.

He hopes those goals will start to flow at home to his old club Plymouth at Highbury this Saturday and lift Town out of the bottom four.

Sheridan will give Conor McAleny, Paddy Madden, Ash Hunter, Wes Burns and Jordy Hiwuala more freedom and says it is up to the rest of the team to defend.

The head coach said: “I think we have bright players in forward areas and it is up to me to try to pick the right ones, pick hopefully the right team.

“Conor is a bright footballer, I like him. I’ve given him licence to play higher up the pitch, stay up the pitch.

“I’m trying to give them (the attackers) that freedom of concentrate on what they should be doing, which is scoring goals. As a striker you should be wanting to score goals.

“I don’t judge a man on how many times he is chasing back or how many tackles he is winning – I judge them on chances taken.

“Unfortunately attack-minded players are not switched on all the time and they do switch off when they are defending.

“I have tried to make it as clear as I can that I want your McAlenys, Maddens and Hunters concentrating on what they are good at, which is attacking.

“The other six or seven have to realise that and they are starting to.

“I am giving freedom to the lads in attacking areas to hopefully cause the opposition a problem and so we have to defend, organise and be switched on all the time.”

McAleny has struggled with an ankle injury for most of the season, playing his first full game for the club in the last match against MK Dons. And Sheridan believes he will be a key figure as Town bid for a first home win in the league since October.

The Town boss added: “In training some of the goals he scores, his touch .... I’ve always liked him.

“But if he creates chances like he did against MK Dons, I’m sure he will score goals.

“The most important thing is that he is creating chances and the team is creating chances for him.

“He had four good opportunities. Unfortunately he did not take any of them but he was in the right place to make those chances.

“And I’m sure that if he keeps doing that he will end up scoring.”