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A coaching change at Fleetwood has reversed the club’s fortunes for the time being, suffering only one defeat in league play under Stephen Crainey.
With Crainey officially being confirmed as the head coach until the end of this campaign, there is now clarity within this team that was not certain under his predecessor Simon Grayson, who lost six of his final seven matches in charge before being sacked in November.
The 40-year-old former Scottish international left-back, who served as academy coach before moving up with the senior side, has been able to navigate this team through a difficult stretch defensively, one which saw them concede 17 goals in their six matches played in all competitions before his promotion.
They did not begin this month the way that they had hoped, losing 5-1 to Accrington Stanley, but this young group have shown plenty of resolve since that thumping, collecting clean sheets in two of their previous three league encounters.
While the quality up front was missing last Sunday, Crainey was thoroughly impressed by how compact and composed his players were coming back in transition, praising them for how well they applied themselves against Morecambe.
Fleetwood should be confident in their ability to score at home, finding the back of the net five times in their last two league matches played at Highbury Stadium, which is as many goals as they were able to produce in their previous four games played in all competitions.
The Fleetwood back four of Carl Johnston, Tom Clarke, Conor McLaughlin and Danny Andrew were able to hold Morecambe to only one shot on target last Saturday as Alex Cairns collected his second clean sheet in his previous three league fixtures.
Bradley Halliday is still a few months away from returning from a cruciate ligament rupture, while James Hill will likely sit this one out with an unknown injury.
Gerard Garner leads the team with seven goals this season, but midfielder Harrison Biggins is starting to come alive for them, finding the back of the net three times in his last three games, while Paddy Lane assisted twice in their 2-1 victory over Gillingham.
Daniel Udoh continues to significantly impact the Shrews as the Nigerian striker notched a brace in their 3-1 win over Cheltenham, as he has five goals and two assists in his previous seven matches played in all competitions.
Tom Bloxham was red-carded in the 40th minute last weekend and will not be available for this game, so we may see Ryan Bowman start alongside Udoh in the attack with the 30-year-old scoring five goals domestically this season, one back of Udoh for the team lead.
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There was only one new face in the Shrews’ starting 11 versus the Robins from the team who began their previous match, as David Davis replaced Rekeil Pyke in midfield.
Fleetwood Town possible starting lineup:
Cairns; Andrew, McLaughlin, Clarke, C. Johnston; Morton, Biggins, Matete, Lane, Conn-Clarke; Garner
Shrewsbury Town possible starting lineup:
Maroisi; Pennington, Leahy, Nurse; Leshabela, Bennett, Davis, Vela, Ogbeta; Udoh, Bowman