Opposition in focus - Fleetwood Town...
Fleetwood Town provide the opposition for Paul Warne's Rotherham United on Saturday in SkyBet League One at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. We take a look at who the Millers are facing in our opposition analysis...
In the Dugout
John Sheridan is the man in the dugout for Fleetwood on Saturday. The 53-year old played in midfield as a player, representing Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic, making over 600 career appearances. He also represented Republic of Ireland at U21 level, senior level and 'B' level. As a player, he won two major competitions, winning the Football League Cup in the 1990/91 season with Sheffield Wednesday and the Football League First Division in the 1996/97 season with Bolton Wanderers.
After being a caretaker at Oldham Athletic, he became a full-time manager in 2006. He left Oldham after a combined 10 years at the club in 2009 and joined Chesterfield where he won the League Two title in the 2010/11 season, before going on to claim the Football League Trophy the following season. He's also managed Plymouth Argyle, Newport County and Notts County as well as managing Oldham Athletic another two times. He joined Fleetwood in February 2018 after leaving Oldham in September 2017 and has steered them away from the drop zone in League One since his arrival.
Fleetwood come into the game firmly in mid-table in 13th position but as one of the division’s form teams. The Play-offs may be just out of reach this season as they sit 10 points off 6th place with six games left to play but since Sheridan has taken over, the Cod Army haven't been beaten. His run of games has included four wins and three draws and it has also included a resolute defensive record which hasn’t seen them concede a goal in their last five outings. Their most recent victory came at home against Bristol Rovers on Easter Monday, with them winning 2-0 courtesy of goals from Ashley Hunter and Jordy Hiwula.
This is the sixth time these teams have met since the second reformation of Fleetwood in 1997. Both side have won two of these fixtures each, with the other ending in a draw that came back in November 2012. Since the reformation, Fleetwood haven't won in Rotherham but the Cod Army come into the game with the most recent victory. A 2-0 win at Highbury Stadium in Sky Bet League One on the opening day of the 2017/18 season, courtesy of a brace from Connor McAleny, gave the Cod Army all three points.
Ones to Watch
Our ones to watch start with former Millers goalkeeper Alex Cairns. The former Leeds youth product had a spell at non-league Stalybridge Celtic in the 2012/13 season and since joining Fleetwood in 2016, he has made over 60 appearances for the Cod Army and has kept five clean sheets in his last five games.
Captain Nathan Pond is in the heart of the Fleetwood defence. Pond was recognised by Guinness as holding the world record for appearing in the most different divisions with a single football club. He has made over 400 career appearances for Fleetwood and has also represented Kendal Town and Grimsby Town on loan.
In midfield, former Miller Toumani Diagouraga has become a mainstay at Fleetwood. The French international and former PSG man is often partnered in the engine room with Kyle Dempsey, who signed permanently following a loan spell from Huddersfield Town in the summer. On the wing, former Everton attacker Connor McAleny has provided the goals this season, scoring four this season including a brace against Rotherham in the reverse of this fixture. On loan Huddersfield man Jordy Hiwula is another to look out for with four assists and nine goals this season, Fleetwood's top scorer.
Upfront, Paddy Madden is the striker chosen to fill the boots of the recently departed Devante Cole, who left the Cod Army to join Wigan in January. Madden has scored eight goals this season and partners Ashley Hunter, who recently signed a new three-year deal.