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We remain firmly in tie - Alexander

9 December 2013

FA Cup replay awaits Town

Graham Alexander released his frustration on Saturday, after conceding another late equaliser for a consecutive week.
The manager expressed his disappointment at the lack of concentration which led to Billy Kee’s strike, saying his side played well enough to sail through to the third round of the FA Cup.  

Jeff Hughes had put Fleetwood Town into the lead with just over five minutes of normal time remaining in the clash, but the side suffered a set-back once again, meaning a trip to the Pirelli Stadium awaits a week Tuesday. 

Alexander’s men are still in the FA Cup however, and will face an away trip to Bournemouth should they overcome the Brewers in the replay and he says he will highlight the positives of the game too.

He said: “We are still in the tie through our own fault of switching off at the wrong time. We should definitely should have won the game. Their keeper has made some great saves and we have hit the post. We went one nil up and we were a minute away from full time without being in any danger. We talk about two or three tiny little things that mean really big things in the end, and I thought that we have been undone by that today. The anger and disappointment of not winning the game sort of overrides how we played a little bit, because I thought that we played really well today- we have created chances and their keeper made some great saves. We hit the post and then scored the goal, but the overriding feeling now is dejection, because it is a game that we should have won, and we should be in the third round already.

“Last week was a little understandable, because we had a fair amount of pressure on our goal and we invited that a little bit, but I don’t think we did that today. We were strong in our decisions and our organisation. We were compact when we needed to be and we played some really good stuff, but the players have got to take on the little details that we talked about. As a player, you have to take that responsibility onto the pitch and realise what minute of the game you are playing. The importance of where the ball is, where your marker is and everything like that because if we don’t, then we are not going to do ourselves any justice. The result today does not do us any justice, I thought we should have won the game. The lads are disappointed as well but, when we look back at that game on Monday, we will see lots of good things, but the overriding thought is that we have not won a game that we should have done.”

The manager admitted that this week’s equaliser was different from that of last week, due to the control that the home side had at the weekend. 

He continued: “When Oxford scored last week I thought it had been coming a little bit. You try your best not to concede and you put bodies on the line, which we did but, when they scored I thought they maybe deserved it but today I don’t think they did. We did all of the things that we have been working on this week, but a game lasts for 93 or 94 minutes every week and you cannot switch off for a second, because you will get punished. We did not deserve that today, but Burton are a good team and they have got a draw out of it and we have to go there for the replay.

“It is just a lack of focus, which is what it is. We just have to go over the work again, and we will continue to do that until we are water-tight and not making the same mistakes. I have seen the goal just now on the DVD and there are no glaring errors, but it is tiny little positional things, which we have worked a lot on but it will be an on-going process. I am gutted for the lads, because they did deserve to win the game today, but they can’t blame anyone else and we can’t blame ourselves because we conceded a goal that we shouldn’t have. We will re-emphasise the positives from today though; the football, the chances, the goal and if we just put that little thing to bed, then we will be a very good team that wins lots of games.”

Jon Parkin was brought into the squad for the cup clash and made himself known to the defenders on Saturday, and caused a lot of trouble for the centre backs, particularly after impressing midweek in the reserve game. 

The forward gave Alexander plenty of reasons to think about him for Saturday’s league trip to Rochdale. 

He continued: “I thought that was Jon Parkin’s best game for us so far this season. He led the line, he held the ball up, and was a constant problem for Burton. I didn’t think that they could handle him in the first half and he was a good pivotal point for us to play off. We played with great energy down both sides with Gaz (Evans) as well, and both Blair and Parkin scored for the reserves during the week, and it has obviously boiled from that. I would love to be stood here patting the lads on the back and saying: ‘Great performance. Solid, dependable, creating chances and we are through to the next round’, but unfortunately we have conceded a poor goal at the end, and we have got three big games now in the next 10 days. We will have to make sure that we are ready for them.”

There were other positives to take out the match too, with Junior Brown and Ryan Crowther making substitute appearances late on, after a couple of weeks out. 

“They have been out of the squad for a couple of week but I thought they deserved it after their attitude and application in training, and in the reserve game the other day was fantastic. Ryan only got about five or six minutes and I thought Junior played really well when he came on. But there were other good performances from lads who started the game as well. There is nobody out there today that I thought played badly, it is just one goal that has let us down.”

The squad will return to training this week and concentrate on amending the small errors for the visit to Spotland at the weekend. 

He concluded: “I don’ think that anybody can deny that it was a game we should have won, but we have got to take that and we will continue to do the work on the littlest details that we need to do. If we keep letting ourselves down, then we are not going to get the plaudits and the success that we deserve.”

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