Appointed at an almost identical time last year and with the Latics in a similarly perilous position, the former Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder led the Lancashire club to safety.
Bradford City’s task today, therefore, is to put a stop to that revival and give their own promotion push a lift at the end of a frustrating week that saw Stuart McCall and his players make a wasted trip to Oxford United for their postponed Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final tie.
“It was the correct decision to call the game off on Tuesday,” said assistant manager Kenny Black about a postponement just 10 minutes before the scheduled kick-off that means Bradford must return to the Kassam Stadium again in midweek.
“It also gave us chance to recharge the batteries before an important league game. We will have a great backing and, hopefully, we can get the three points to send them all home happy.”
City claimed just a point from the Valley Parade clash between the two teams in August despite having 22 shots on goal to the visitors’ five.
Improving on that return today will not be easy, not least because of Sheridan’s return to the home dugout.
“There is no doubt they have had a bit of a spark since John Sheridan came in,” added Black. “They might be in the drop zone but they don’t concede many.”
Team news: Matthew Kilgallon is absent through injury but Billy Clarke could start after his full recovery from the calf injury that kept the attacker out for 11 games until his two recent cameos from the bench.
Last six games: Oldham Athletic LDLWLW, Bradford City DWWLWD.
Referee: N Miller (County Durham).
Last time: Oldham Athletic 1 Bradford City 2; December 5, 2015; League One.