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Club News

Warm-up - Rotherham

12 April 2013

Fleetwood Town travel to one of the Football League's newest and most impressive grounds on Saturday, when they arrive at the New York Stadium for what could prove to be a season-defining match.

By Mike McGough

Fleetwood Town travel to one of the Football League's newest and most impressive grounds on Saturday, when they arrive at the New York Stadium for what could prove to be a season-defining match.

Graham Alexander's men need nothing less than a win to keep the faint play off hope alive with just three matches remaining, after the disappointing home defeat last week at the hands of Rochdale. The Millers have not been in the best of form recently, but their 4-1 thrashing of fellow play off hopefuls Exeter City last weekend proves that it is going to be a difficult meeting in South Yorkshire. Alexander said: "It is very important; it is going to be a tough game against Rotherham. They played very well against Exeter- they bossed it from start to finish so our work is cut out but we have to make sure that we respond in the right fashion to what happened last weekend and it is so far so good this week. The response has been there but the important day to respond is Saturday, so that is what we are aiming to do. "It was obviously a big game for both teams the other day because Rotherham and Exeter are both up there so they are ones that we were chasing, and still are really because if we can take three points from Saturday, and as happened last week when the other teams around us got beat, you just don't know what is going to happen at the weekend but you just have to concentrate on your own performance which is what we will be doing. We know the task ahead of us, but we are hoping that Rotherham are sitting there worrying about us because we have shown that when we play the teams at the top, we can compete with them, so we have to do that on Saturday." It seems that Town's inconsistency has let them down in the final hurdle of the season, with results varying each week since the turn of the year, but with 9 points still to play for and four points behind Bradford City who lie in the last play-off position, all is up for grabs as we reach the season's climax. The manager continued: "That is one thing that we have spoken about for quite a while now- the consistency and it is mirrored in our league position. I believe that we have got the ability to be in a play-off position, but results prove that we are not up there because I think that we have let ourselves down against team down below us. That is the consistency level that you need. Gillingham after we drew against them both times which were two really tough games, I thought that if we they are on a maximum level then we are too and we are two equal sides, but they have hit a consistent level more times than us and that is why they have been promoted. Now we have to aim and strive for that sort of consistency, but we have got three games left and that is what we are concentrating on, and especially the first one which is Rotherham and we have to make sure that we stay competitive right throughout the game. We will try and cause Rotherham problems with the players that we know can cause problems. We have got a lot of ability in our squad attacking-wise and we have to realise that potential and make sure that we create opportunities." Rotherham United have won eight games on the road this season, the exact same amount as the Cod Army, but Alexander believes that the hard work in mid-week training will pay off when the sides meet on Saturday, to set up an exciting encounter after a below-par effort last weekend when Rochdale a treble past Fleetwood. "We spoke straight after last week's performance to put it to bed and make sure that we worked as hard as we could have from Monday to Friday to make sure we have got the performance on Saturday. The work ethic from the players this week has been great, but like I said, we need Saturday players and not Monday-to-Friday players, but I believe the harder you work during the week, then the better your performances on Saturday. "Hopefully at the weekend we will go there and show that we are a good team and we care and we want to compete with the best in this division, so it is a test for us all- the players and staff and we will hopefully give the Fleetwood fans that travel over there something to cheer about." Three points for Town could possibly close the gap on the play off places to just one point, with Bradford travelling to Chesterfield and Exeter visiting Wimbledon. A draw in the first game would be the ideal result as the Spireites lay a place above Alexander's men in 9th.

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