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Stephen Crainey unsure of Fleetwood future despite keeping club up

Fleetwood Town manager Stephen Crainey (Nigel French/PA)
Fleetwood Town manager Stephen Crainey (Nigel French/PA)

Stephen Crainey succeeded in retaining Fleetwood’s Sky Bet League One status but does not know if he will be at the club next season.

Despite a 4-2 defeat at Bolton – with strikers Dion Charles and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scoring late goals for the Trotters – Town remained above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Crainey was appointed caretaker boss after Simon Grayson’s departure last November with the Cod Army in 22nd position. His role became a permanent one last December until the end of the current season.

“I’d like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity to take this role on,” said Crainey. “I have really enjoyed it. I don’t want to stop.

“The players have responded every day to me. The remit when I took over was to stay in the league and we have done that.

“I have got a great group of footballers and I think this is a group that can do something special in League One next season.

“It is up to the chairman to decide what he wants to do for the future. There will be a cooling down period and a debrief and he (the chairman) will make a decision he feels right for the football club.

“I am sure he will announce something in due course.”

Barry Baggley’s first Football League goal gave Fleetwood a 17th-minute lead and briefly moved the visitors up to 19th.

Charles, with his first goal in 15 games, levelled before the break before Declan John fired Bolton in front after 53 minutes.

Joe Garner’s third goal in three games tied the scores 11 minutes from time before Charles outrageously restored Bolton’s lead.

His blocked tackle with Callum Camps resulted in the ball travelling more than 40 yards over keeper Alex Cairns.

Icelandic ace Bodvarsson smashed in the fourth, and his eighth of the season, in stoppage time.

“I am obviously disappointed to lose the game,” said Crainey. “We came here with a game plan I believed could win the game.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that but we stayed up so it is mixed emotions.”

Ian Evatt’s Bolton finished their first season back in League One in ninth with 73 points.

“From a players’ perspective, in the first half it felt like a bit of a party atmosphere,” he said. “We knew there was not a lot to play for and we struggled with that.

“Their goal spurred us, gave us that intensity and aggression. In the second half, once I reminded them of their responsibility, they were outstanding.

“We set the players a points target of 73 back in January and we managed to get there but it is still not enough.

“It felt like a big ask but it shows you how well we have done.

“There is a lot to be proud of but we are still disappointed. There is going to be huge expectancy next season and we have got to live up to it.”