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Tough decisions ahead

4 September 2013

Boss faces positive selection headache

Graham Alexander praised his side’s performance whilst knocking League One side Tranmere Rovers out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Prenton Park.

Two second half goals from Jamille Matt earned the Cod Army a 2-1 win on Merseyside – putting them through to round two after going in behind at the break.

And Alexander was delighted with the response to last Saturday’s League Two defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

“I thought we were fantastic from minute one (against Tranmere),” Alexander said.
“We were really unlucky to be a goal down at half-time, but we spoke to the lads about going back out and doing the same things because we were excellent defensively.

“We kept our shape really well and were disciplined. We really controlled how we defended when Tranmere had the ball and we created opportunities, showing the energy and desire that the fans want to see.
“Tranmere had dangerous players on the pitch that could score goals, but we managed to keep them at arm’s length.”

Making only his second start of the season, Matt made the most of his opportunity as the lone striker – scoring with two composed finishes following half-time.

It was his second and third goals in all competitions this season, and it left Alexander with a few selection dilemmas for Saturday’s home game against Torquay United.

“(Matt) took his goals very well, especially the second one. He showed great composure to slot that one in. 

“He gave Tranmere’s centre halves a really tough game, and was supported by a midfield that showed lots of energy and quality.

“But he’s a dangerous player, especially when he’s heading towards the opposition goal. He causes defenders problems and if we get him the right service, and he works well for the team, then he’s got a good career ahead of him.”

The Town boss made five changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 at Kingsmeadow at the weekend – David Ball dropped to the bench and required stitches to a cut above his eye after coming on against Tranmere.

“The lads who came in, and the lads who had already been playing, were great,” Alexander added.

“It’s pleasing for us as staff that we’ve got that problem now, but it’s a great problem to have two players fighting for every position. That’s the sort of environment and squad we want. It gives me some tough decisions to make come the weekend.”

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