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Benchmark reset - Alexander

14 November 2013

Manager pleased with night's work

Graham Alexander had nothing but praise for his players after another excellent showing in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, which saw Fleetwood Town cruise through to the Semi-Final of the northern section with a win over Carlisle United. 

A David Ball opener and a sensational chip from Antoni Sarcevic capped off Town's third victory over League One opposition and their fourth consecutive win altogether. 

The manager believes the team have set themselves high standards after Wednesday's 'high energy performance' at Highbury Stadium.

He said: "It is a very pleasing night tonight, I thought the lads were fantastic I really did. They approached the game the right way, played some great stuff and defended really well. I thought the energy that the lads showed from start to finish was fantastic and we deserved the win, we'll now look forward to the next round.

"They are a good team so we have got to be respectful of that. I thought it was a good night for us and we put them on the back foot and played great stuff. I thought some of the off-ball running from the players was fantastic and it made it easier for whoever had possession of the ball, but we had to be aware of their threat as well because they could have caused problems throughout the team, but we managed to keep their chances down to a minimum too. On another day we could have scored more than that, but the two goals did it." 

Alexander was impressed with goal scorer Ball's determination and hard work as a loan striker against a strong defence.

He continued: "I am really chuffed for him. I can't speak highly enough of David Ball, he works so hard every single day in training and he is a great lad- anything you ask him to do in a game or in training, he gets on with it and he does a great job for the team. It can be a hard shift when you are a central striker on your own against two centre halves, but he gives more than he is given credit for and he gets stuck in as well. He has got class around him and it was a great ball from Sarcevic with Bally there to finish it off which is really pleasing.

"It is hard to pick on certain people because everybody did what they were expected to do. They have set the bench mark for themselves now and we will be expecting more performances like that this season."

Sarcevic put in another Man of the Match performance and netted his fourth of the season, something which the midfielder was delighted with and wants to continue to do.

"He has been frustrated of late (Sarcevic) not getting on the score sheet and maybe snatching at a couple if things, but it was a fantastic ball over from Gaz Evans who hit one of those on Saturday against Gloucester to put David Ball through. You need someone on the end of it to score like that and it was a fantastic goal for both of them. We could have scored a couple more probably over the night, but we are just happy to beat a League One team."

The Cods will now look ahead to Northampton Town on Saturday, where they visit Sixfields for a clash against a side struggling to pick up points at the foot of the table. 

He concluded: "It is a very tough game going there. I think that their leage position is below their quality and we will have to get the lads playing like we did on tonight. We have got two days of preparation before that. We are in tomorrow, we will look after them and we will look for another high energy performance and hopefully get a positive result. The lads are feeling good about themselves and it is always a good feeling when you are like that so, we have to work hard to maintain that."  

Oldham Athletic, Rotherham United and Chesterfield are in the hat for the northern area semi-final. 

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