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Opposition Lowdown: Charlie Adam’s Fleetwood Town

Reading will be looking for their third win on the bounce when they travel to Lancashire to take on Fleetwood Town this Tuesday. Join us as we take a closer look at the opposition.

Shrewsbury Town v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Form

Fleetwood Town finished last season in 13th place in League One after 14 wins, 16 draws and 16 losses. This is their 10th consecutive season in the third tier, having gained promotion from League Two via the playoffs in 2014.

The Cod Army currently sit in 23rd place in the league, six points adrift of safety. Their recent form has been mixed, having seen two wins, one draw and two losses in their last five games. They come into this match off the back of a 2-1 loss to Lincoln City, having won their previous two matches, beating Port Vale and Bristol Rovers.

Reading and Fleetwood had never faced each other in their clubs’ histories, prior to the Cod Army’s 1-2 win at the Select Car Leasing Stadium back in October, when midfielder Josh Vela scored a 92nd-minute winner.

The boss

Charlie Adam: Adam became Fleetwood’s third manager of the season when he was appointed at the end of December, taking over from Lee Johnson, who had replaced Scott Brown earlier on in the season. This is Adam’s first managerial role, having retired from football in 2022.

He had an almost 20-year career as a player, starting out at Rangers before going on to represent Blackpool, Liverpool, Stoke, Dundee and of course Reading. Adam played for the Royals in the 2019/20 season, making 27 appearances, scoring two goals and logging four assists.

Adam was also a Scottish international, winning 26 caps for his country. He ended his playing career at his boyhood club Dundee at the age of 36.

After retirement he joined Burnley as an assistant manager of their under-21 side and also as loans manager. He is one of the youngest managers in the league at the age of 38. In his eight games in charge of Fleetwood, he has picked up two wins, one draw and five losses.

Squad

Fleetwood had a busy January transfer window, bringing seven players in over the course of the month. They began the window by signing striker Ronan Coughlan on a permanent deal from Irish side Waterford, before then signing defender Harry Boyes on loan from Sheffield United.

They had a busy transfer deadline day, bringing five players in, including the permanent signings of defender Finley Potter and forward Tommy Lonergan, who joined from Sheffield United and St Patricks, respectively. They also secured the loan captures of Everton defender Elijah Campbell, Bournemouth midfielder Gavin Kilkenny and former Reading academy player Imari Samuels, who joined from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Midfielder Bosun Lawal is suspended for this game after his sending-off at the weekend. Recent signing Harry Boyes is also expected to miss out through injury.

Expected lineup

Lynch, Sarpong-Wiredu, Henegan, Campbell, Broom, Samuels, Quitirna, Kilkenny, Omochere, Coughlan, Stockley

Key player

Jayden Stockley: Striker Stockley signed for Fleetwood last January, joining from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. He started his career at Bournemouth, working his way through their youth system before making his debut for the Cherries in 2009 at the age of 16.

While at Bournemouth he had a total of nine loan spells, playing for the likes of Woking, Torquay United, Luton Town and Exeter City. He ended up leaving Bournemouth to join Scottish side Aberdeen in 2016, before signing for his former loan club Exeter the following year, scoring 39 goals over the course of a season and a half.

His good form in Devon earned him a move to Championship Preston North End in January 2019, where he spent two years before returning south to move to Charlton, signing on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell. Stockley scored a further 31 goals while at the Addicks before moving to Fleetwood in last year’s January transfer window.

Standing at 6ft 3, the 30-year-old striker is strong in the air and effective at holding up the ball. He has seven goals to his name so far this season and has scored in three of Fleetwood’s last four games.

One to watch

Junior Quitirna: Midfielder Quitirna joined Fleetwood in January last year, signing from Irish side Waterford. He started his youth career at AFC Hornchurch before joining the youth setup at Charlton. He made his professional debut for the Addicks in 2019 and made one additional appearance before signing for Waterford in 2021.

Quitirna played 56 games in Ireland, scoring 21 goals. When he joined Fleetwood last year he was sent straight out on loan to National League side Altrincham for the remainder of the season, but he returned to the Cod Army early and represented the club five times towards the back end of the season.

Quitirna has played in 21 games for Fleetwood so far this season, scoring four goals and providing five assists. The 23-year-old usually plays in centre midfield but can also play out wide. He is a strong passer of the ball and likes to shoot from range.