Graham Alexander says Town ‘shot themselves in the foot’ against Burton Albion on Saturday, but praised the spirited second half fightback.
The Cod Army conceded three goals before half-time in the 3-2 defeat at Highbury, with Rene Howe, Adam McGurk and Chris Hussey all scoring for Albion within 35 minutes.
Jeff Hughes and substitute Jamille Matt each pulled one back for Fleetwood in the second half, but Alexander pointed to a poor opening period for Town’s first Sky Bet League 2 defeat of the season.
“We shot ourselves in the foot (in the first half),” said Alexander.
“We started well and could have scored through Jeff Hughes, but then we concede a poor goal and lost our focus up until half-time.
“In the second half we were great. I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads, but you can’t give a good team a three-goal lead, especially one like Burton.
“We gave it our best shot and were unlucky because there were other opportunities where we could have scored.
“We got our focus back, realised what we were good at, caused them a lot of problems and scored two goals.
“It wasn’t going to be easy against Burton but I think we helped them along the way, especially in the first half.
“That’s not doing them any discredit because I’m sure Gary (Rowett) will be pleased with his side’s first fourty-five minutes. However, we can defend better than that and we can play better than that.”
The only other defeat Town have suffered this season was in the Capital One Cup at Notts County on August 7 – another 3-2 match in which the Cod Army nearly forced extra time.
And despite Saturday’s first league setback, Alexander is backing his side to refocus ahead of next week’s trip to Hartlepool United.
“We’ll maintain our focus and belief as staff, and make sure the squad also do that,” he added.
“We’re not going to panic three games into the season. We know long term what will get results at this level. I think we’ve got the players and the team to do it.
“We’ll respond as we did after the defeat to Notts County (earning three points at Plymouth). The target now is to go into next week and play the ninety minutes like we did the last fourty-five against Burton.
“Hartlepool will be different opposition to Burton, but we have to play to our own strengths because we believe in it and the players have seen what it can produce in pre-season and at the start of this season.”
Boss rues first half