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Club News

Bristol Warm-Up

11 January 2013

Fleetwood Town face npower League Two bottom side, Bristol Rovers, at Highbury on Saturday, a game which marks personal milestones for two Town defenders.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town face npower League Two bottom side, Bristol Rovers, at Highbury on Saturday, a game which marks personal milestones for two Town defenders.

Right-back, Shaun Beeley, is standing by to make his 200th appearance for the club and central defender, Alan Goodall, his 50th.  Record signing, striker Jamille Matt, is set to make his debut and with the excitement surrounding the contributions of both Anthony Barry and Jamie Allen at Northampton there is much for the Cod Army to look forward to. Town currently lie 7th on 40 points and with just four points separating eight clubs from Rotherham in third place downwards, three points would keep the pressure on the teams around them. Town manager, Graham Alexander, looked forward to the game: “We need to break down a team more, defend and attack against a team that will be coming here looking to get a win to get their season up and running and try and pull away from the bottom position they occupy at the moment”. “That’s something they have to concentrate on and we have to concentrate on our own performance. If we get the performance that we expect from the team we put out, we will show that we deserve the three points”. “We’ve had an influx of players and I think the squad size is now over 30. It’s good that we’ve got a pool of players to pick from to go into games, but as I’ve spoken about before, I think it’s too many to carry on long term”. “It’s good that we’ve added the faces that we have since the opening of the window and received a couple of additions that have come back who have done well of their loans. It’s added a level of competition and noticeably an increase in determination in training, which is great to see”. John Ward replaced Mark McGhee as Rovers' manager last month, a return to the club for the much-travelled boss who becomes Rovers seventh manager since Town entered the Conference. Rovers away record shows just one win, at Exeter at the end of September. The 0-0 result at home to Town in September, 18 league games ago, was the Pirates last clean sheet.  They have conceded an average of two goals per game so far this season, a goal difference of -21 currently being the lowest in the division. Defender, Gary Kenneth, is out for the rest of the season after rupturing knee ligaments  in the defeat against Gillingham last weekend, the first reversal under Ward.  The result took Rovers back to the foot of the league for the second time this season.  The new manager sees an experienced striker as his priority in the transfer window but acknowledges the need to bolster his defence in the absence of Kenneth. Cain Bolger is also out and consistent selection has not been possible at centre-back  recently.  Ward has conceded that recruitment has been difficult over the last week, admitting that the club's lowly position is hampering progress. Joint top scorer, David Clarkson, misses his third successive game with an ankle injury while fellow-striker,  Joe Anyinsah, is regarded as '50-50' because of a hamstring complaint.  Ward told the club's website: 'If you look at our next run of games they are all against top six or seven prospects so we are going to be tested to the full.  We gave a decent account of ourselves against Gillingham and if we can do the same at Fleetwood I will be ok.' The manager conceded that Saturday would not be easy, however,telling 'This is Bristol': 'Fleetwood have some strength and depth and will certainly be a tough opponent for us.'“We need to be right on our game to get the three points and that’s the target for us”.

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