Fleetwood boss Rosler’s wish to keep classy Cole

Scorer Cole celebrates with Hunter
Scorer Cole celebrates with Hunter

Fleetwood head coach Uwe Rosler said goal king Devante Cole is playing “on another level” as Town hope to keep hold of the striker in transfer deadline week.

Cole netted his fourth in three games in Town’s first League One defeat of the season, 3-1 at Bristol Rovers,

and Rosler hopes the hotshot will still be in a red and white strip when the window slams shut on Thursday.

And former Manchester City striker Rosler, who is no stranger to finding the net himself, was full of high praise for the 22-year-old’s start to the season.

Rosler said: “At the moment Devante is playing on another level. His finishing skills are very good and we are very happy to have him in our squad.

“His goalscoring record is very good and I just hope nobody comes in for him.

“He has started really well and I really hope we still have him here after August 31.”

Rosler was pleased with the character of his players despite their three-match winning start being halted in the West Country .

Town went behind in the 27th minute, when Stuart Sinclair blasted home after the ball was headed on by Rory Gaffney.

Video footage showed that Gaffney was offside and also appeared to impede Town skipper Nathan Pond in the build-up.

A fine 25-yard strike from Billy Bodin two minutes before the break gave the hosts a 2-0 lead and Fleetwood an uphill battle in the second half.

But they fought back valiantly as the introduction of Ash Hunter for Bobby Grant at the break saw Town look more dangerous.

Hunter played a big part to play in Town’s goal, whipping a peach of a cross in from the right for Cole to volley home on the hour.

Town had the momentum after that goal but could not find a leveller, and Rovers substitute Ellis Harrison scored their third to end any hopes of a Town comeback.

Rosler praised the impact of forward Hunter and his side’s character but said there is still work to do on the training pitch, especially on set-pieces.

He said: “Last week I was disappointed winning 2-0 with the way we played. This week I am happy.

“There is only one person who decided that first goal (the referee John Busby). We were absolutely in control.

“The first goal came in the second phase from a corner. We are normally very good on that but the players have to pick up quicker because we’ve been talking about that since pre-season.

“But in general I am not disappointed. We chased the game in the right way. We showed great character in the way we chased it.

Second half as well we were absolutely in control. The substitution of Ash Hunter helped us very much.

“I can’t be too disappointed. I need to see the bigger picture and definitely an improved performance from last week.

“I think we did everything we did in the second half to get a result. We dominated the ball.

“We passed the ball well. In the final 20 metres, the quality was sometimes a little bit missing and we did not test the keeper enough.

“I’m disappointed about the result but not about the performance.

“We need to be better on set-pieces. That is the message and that is what we need to work on. There were a lot of positives about the game.”

Rosler explained that the substitutions of both skipper Pond and Grant were tactical and not due to injury, though Pond has a hamstring niggle.

Rosler said: “The way I saw the game Bristol Rovers were very defensive. We had a lot of the ball. We were very high up and they brought on Harrison, who has good speed.

“Nathan had problems with his hamstring, so it was a combination of getting Bailey Cargill on (for his debut) and also protecting Nathan from his hamstring niggle.

“I think Bobby has done tremendously for me but Saturday was not his day. We are all human and sometimes we have to accept that.”