Sheridan: Rochdale win was key for Fleetwood Town
John Sheridan has no doubt as to where Fleetwood Town's escape from the bottom four can be traced.
Having come in at the end of February following Uwe Rosler’s departure, Sheridan oversaw Town’s climb up the League One table.
His reign began with draws against MK Dons, Plymouth Argyle and Charlton Athletic before victory in his fourth game at Rochdale.
Town’s recovery was one where the players showed their willingness to battle, not least those who played out of position when the situation called for it.
“The good thing about the first couple of games is that we came from behind,” Sheridan said.
“MK Dons, then Plymouth, we showed character and finished those games strongly.
“We could have easily folded after going behind, in a precarious position, but I though the lads responded and we drew the first three games.
“I thought I had a good, tight-knit group who were willing to fight for the cause.
“I know, as a manager, I have played one or two players out of position.
“Luckily for me, because we were winning or drawing, it did not look too bad.
“We were getting the results we wanted but when you lose the games and playing players out of position, people let you know and it is more noticeable.
“Wherever I have played them they have all tried to do a job for the team.
“I know we were a bit unbalanced at times, but we got results.
“The subs, when they came on, impacted the games – especially the early games.
“Paddy’s (Madden) goal at Rochdale was a massive goal.
“That was a massive game for me because they were in and around us at the time.
“Paddy got the first, Jordy (Hiwula) got the second and then we went on a little run of winning games and clean sheets.”
The win at Rochdale kicked off a run of five wins in six matches.
The last of those was at Oxford United when Conor McAleny’s goal effectively made the club safe.
“I’d like to think if we had not won at Oxford we would have won another game in the games we had left,” Sheridan said.
“To score in the last minute and then to get 54 points I felt was enough.
“I did not tell the players that, I told them we needed another win. But I felt 54 points was always going to keep us in the league.”