In what is Fleetwood Town’s most important week of the season, they have been given a huge boost after Paddy Lane was crowned the SkyBet League One Young Player of the Season.
The 21-year-old winger also earned his first senior Northern Ireland cap last month as a result of being Fleetwood’s star man in their push for survival.
In Lane’s debutant season in the English Football League, he has provided a very impressive five goals and eight assists in his 37 appearances.
Despite claiming this accolade above all the other nominees, there was still no place for Lane inside the League One Team of the Season.
Controversially, that didn’t include Morecambe’s Cole Stockton, who scored 23 goals and four assists. Sunderland’s Ross Stewart, Rotherham’s Michael Smith and League One’s Player of the Season, Scott Twine of MK Dons, were all picked over the Shrimps’ centre forward.
Due to Fleetwood’s difficult season with a raft of injuries to nearly most of Town’s first team squad at some stage in the campaign, Lane has been tasked with playing all over the pitch, he has filled in at left back and centre midfield and also both wings, with the Northern Irishman’s preferred position being out wide.
Despite Lane’s best efforts, Fleetwood still find themselves in a season that is bound to end in one of two ways – with survival or the drop to League Two.
After the Cods’ late equaliser against fellow relegation battlers, AFC Wimbledon, over the weekend, they managed to climb out of the drop zone thanks to a superior goal difference to Gillingham.
The clubs surrounding Fleetwood only have one game left of the campaign, whereas Stephen Crainey’s side have two games remaining to decide their fate.
They host Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday, and they go into the game knowing that they have the possibility to enter the final fixture of the season, ahead of all teams fighting for relegation, if they can claim all three points against a promotion chasing Wednesday.
It would be a tremendous recovery from Town if they were able to stay up, after only winning one game since their 1-0 home win over Rotherham on January 15.