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Manager: competitive cup game

27 October 2013

Graham Alexander insists he is excited about the thought of taking control of his first FA Cup game as a manager after Fleetwood Town were handed a long trip to Skrill Conference North side Gloucester City in the first round.

Fleetwood, agonisingly, were the last ball to be pulled out during the draw in London on Sunday afternoon as they were paired against David Mehew’s side.

Gloucester, who currently sit fourth bottom of the Conference North, have come through five games, two of them replays, to reach the first round for the second year running and beat Hampton & Richmond 3-1 at the weekend to set up a tie with the Cod Army.

Fleetwood have not faced Gloucester since the 2009/10 season where Town beat them twice en route to promotion to the Conference Premier, and a win this time, would mean Fleetwood will make it past the first round for the third consecutive season.

“It took long enough and it is a bit of a strange one for us. We don’t know a great deal about Gloucester at the moment but we will get as much information as possible before the game,” Alexander told www.fleetwoodtownfc.com.

“They will come into the game looking to win, it is a big occasion for them as well as ourselves. The FA Cup is the best cup competition in the world.

“We are expecting a competitive game and they have come through a few games to get this far so they certainly won’t be looking at it as a day out.

“It is another long journey for us, but we will do our home work and we will be prepared for the game when it comes around.”

“We want to get through, there’s no doubt about that, but we are not going to look to far ahead.

“At the moment we are targeting a win and then the second round. If we get through, then we will be targeting the third round, so right now, we are going to do all we can to make it through to the next round.”

The Fleetwood manager also admitted it was a ‘slightly different feeling’ watching the draw as he prepares for his first FA Cup clash as a manager, but nevertheless, he says it is occasion he will be looking forward to.

“It was a slightly different feeling as it is my first time as a manager rather than a player. 

“It is still an exciting occasion and it is one that me and the staff are looking forward too.”

Although Alexander was satisfied not to have been paired with a team from the same division, he also expressed sympathy for the travelling Cod Army as Town prepare for another long away day.

“It can be a strain on all of us. We will have our usual band of loyal followers for the game, but if it was to be an away tie, I was hoping we could have had one closer to home.

“I was also hoping we would not get someone from the same division as we want a break from the regular league calendar, but it certainly would have been nice to have something closer to home.

“Where we are situated it means that we clock up a lot of miles with league matches and it is a hard shift for supporters when they are working all week and then are having to get up early on Saturday to make a long trip to support the team and spend good money.

“We will go there though and put on the best performance we can for those that do travel down and hopefully we can make it through to the next round.”

Ticket and travel information will be released in due course. The tie will be played 9/10 November.


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