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Club News

Boss praises opening win

4 August 2013

Manager Graham Alexander was happy with his team’s performance in the 3-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

New captain Mark Roberts headed Fleetwood in front after five minutes, before Jeff Hughes and Ryan Cresswell added further goals on their debuts as Town picked up their first three points of the season.

The Fleetwood Town manager was very pleased with many aspects of his team’s performance as well as putting the first three points of the season on the board.

Speaking to the Cod Army Player after the game, Alexander said: “We are happy with the three points, we are happy with the chances that we created and obviously the three goals. We were a little bit disappointed with the last 20 minutes of the first half, we let Dagenham get in behind us a bit to often for my liking but we sorted that out in the second half and did much better and kept them at arms length. 

“We created numerous opportunities, but to be fair Dagenham were always a threat with their three up top and had good movement. We were happy to come off with three points on the first game of the season.”

Alexander had special praise for the attacking qualities of his team throughout the game and says they have shown they will be able to create chances in any game through out the season.

Central defenders, Mark Roberts and Ryan Cresswell, both scored from corners that were delivered by winger Ryan Crowther and Alexander says although his team was threatening from set pieces, his team could have scored more goals from open play.

“We feel that we have got very good offensive players. That’s why we need to concentrate and make sure we are tighter and stronger at the back and in midfield to keep the oppositions chances to a minimum because we know we will create chances ourselves. We have got a lot of attacking players with pace and skill and quality and I thought that showed today.

“We scored two good goals from set pieces, which we are pleased about because they was two great deliveries from Ryan (Crowther) and two great headers, but I thought we could have scored from open play as well. On the other side Dagenham could have scored a lot more over the 90 minutes as well. We have to be respectful and make sure we keep the other end shut as much as possible as well.”

Seven debutants made their Fleetwood debut in the game with the whole defence being made up of players that were signed during the summer, whilst Antoni Sarcevic, Jeff Hughes and Steven Schumacher made their first starts in midfield.

Alexander believes there is still a bit of gelling to do in the weeks ahead, but insists he was satisfied with what he has seen from his new recruits.

“It was a whole new back four playing together for only the second time really, the midfield three have had a bit more experience together but it is still early days. We have only been together six weeks and the early signs are good but we have to make sure we spot where we can improve and make sure we work to do that. 

“We are pleased because it is hard to gel as a team straight away when there have been so many changes, but we feel we are putting the work in on the training pitch to make sure we are as prepared as possible for the games.

“They are all good players without a doubt, but it is a case of knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and getting a cohesive unit together to make sure we keep chances down to a minimum. It takes time, without a shadow of a doubt but if you are picking up results along the way then that’s excellent because you don’t get time in this game to learn so many things. 

“You have to learn and compete at the same time so we will do that, we will look at today’s game on where we can improve on the training pitch and take that into the Notts County game on Wednesday.”

Looking ahead to the game against Notts County in the first round of the Capital One Cup, Alexander believes his squad can pull off an upset when they travel to Meadow Lane on Wednesday night, but also respects that it will be a tough game against League 1 opposition.

“We go into every game looking to win. We won’t be looking to draw and take them into extra time. Notts County are a league 1 club and I watched them against Sheffield United last night and it was a very tough game for them with 10 men, but it was only a set piece that defeated them. They will be strong and it will be a hard game for us, but we go out to win every game.”

Fleetwood’s boss admits a few changes could be made the starting line-up on Wednesday, but believes what ever squad he puts out will be good enough to be competitive and went on to say he has not got a ‘weakened side.’

Alexander believes he has all the right characters in his dressing room to be successful this season and whilst also saying he is not afraid to change a winning side over the course of the campaign.

“We will look at the DVD and we might make a couple of changes. I spoke to the lads during the week and said that over the course the season we will make changes to winning teams because we believe in the strength in the squad and it will take a squad to be successful. 

“There may be changes made because of the trip to Plymouth next Saturday and that is a very important game for us, but whatever team we put out (against Notts) we expect it to be competitive. We don’t feel we have a weakened team, so we have got players that can step into the team without diminishing one aspect. That’s the beauty of having 19 competitive players to ensure that we are strong each week.

“You can’t get be successful or get through a season with 13 players, as long as the players at the start of the season buy into what you are doing over the course 50 games then they are going to play their part. You have to buy into that to be successful and that’s the message that we give to the players. I think we have got the characters and the personalities in the dressing room to balance that out because they all want to play football this year and we all want the same thing and that’s success.”

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