Win delights Alexander
Graham Alexander could not hide his delight after Fleetwood came through a ‘tough game’ against Bristol Rovers to win 3-1 away from home.
After goalless stalemate in the first half, Jamille Matt, restored to the side after the 2-1 home defeat to Exeter City last week, opened the scoring on 64 minutes before John-Joe O’Toole equalised minutes later.
Matt scored a second three minutes from time and Parkin scored his first goal of the season deep into injury time to ensure Fleetwood returned to the Fylde Coast with three points to move themselves up to second in the Sky Bet League 2 table and only a point behind leaders Chesterfield who visit Highbury next Saturday.
Alexander was pleased with the focus his players displayed to weather out the Bristol Rovers storm that followed their equaliser as well as being delighted that his team went on to gain the three points.
He told Cod Army Player: “It was a real tough game for both teams who were looking to win the game.
“It was a tough game from start to finish, but to come away to a place like this – a very hostile place – and to score three goals and get three points, that’s very pleasing.
“Both teams were looking to win the game, it was to-and-fro, it was quite a physical game, which I have got no problem with as we have physical players as well.
“I thought both teams gave it their best shot to win and we had to weather a little storm after they equalised and we are disappointed to concede an equaliser so soon after taking the lead.
“I thought the lads’ response after that was fantastic, we kept our focus and our belief and we scored two very good goals.
“It was comfortable for about thirty seconds. Parky’s (Jon Parkin’s) goal was late on, but even if it was 3-1 with a second to go we still don’t want to concede.
“We want to get good habits into the team and the players want to keep them good habits and we had to defend at periods today, but we more than threatened Bristol Rovers as well.”
“Their team got a great lift from the goal and I think a few little things went against us, like fifty-fifty decisions and so forth, which increased the pressure.
“I thought the lads kept their focus in and around the goal. They had to block shots and Scott’s had maybe one save to make over the ninety minutes and that’s testament to the lads’ will to win and to protect it.
“Ally to that, we have got a threat goal scoring wise as well. It was a tough game and we are really pleased with three points.”
Parkin’s volley at the end meant he became Fleetwood’s ninth different scorer already this season and Alexander was pleased that Town’s goals came from the striking department and insisted it will give them a morale boost going into the coming games.
“The goals have come throughout the team; midfielders, centre halves and the strikers have done their bit today as well.
“It’s general play that we are really interested in because it is all about the team winning and I thought they were three fantastic finishes and it will be a great boost for the individuals involved because they like to score goals.”
Meanwhile, Fleetwood’s manager made four changes to the starting line-up ahead of a run of six games coming up this month – with the next being Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint trophy second round clash with League 1 side Crewe Alexandra.
While Alexander says all those players made an impact in the victory, he insisted every player will get their chance over the course of the next month and went on to say that the squad will win Fleetwood games rather than the team.
“We spoke to the squad at the start of the season and we spoke to them again this week that over the next six games in 21 days we are going to use the whole squad and they’re all going to play games.
“The support from the lads who didn’t play today was great, but we just felt we needed to freshen up the team a little bit. I thought the lads came in and took their opportunity and the lads that came on also took their opportunity as well.
“It is going to be the squad that wins games, its not’s going to be the team, its going to be the squad and we believe massively in the squad and the players do as well.”