Manager speaks to official club website after draw with Southend United.
Graham Alexander admitted that Fleetwood Town’s 1-1 draw with Southend United felt like a ‘punch in the gut’ after his side was forced to settle for a point on the penultimate weekend of the Football League season.
Steven Schumacher, making his return to the starting line-up in place of the suspended Alan Goodall, fired Fleetwood in front with a whipped free kick five minutes after the half hour mark in a tight first-half.
Barry Corr, though, followed up his two goals against Town in the first match back in October with the equaliser five minutes before the break, but the visitors’ goalkeeper, Daniel Bentley, proved to be the hero with an inspiring performance to keep Fleetwood at bay in the second-half.
The draw means Fleetwood will be relying on Burton Albion to beat Chesterfield tomorrow afternoon at the Pirelli Stadium to keep Fleetwood in the race to finish in the Sky Bet League 2 automatic promotion places.
Speaking to the Cod Army Player after the game, the Fleetwood manager said: “I thought for second-half (performance) we deserved to get another goal.
“We’re disappointed because we were 1-0 up and conceded an equaliser so soon after taking the lead.
“We took the game to Southend and bossed the second-half, but we just couldn’t get the final touch on a few opportunities or their keeper made good saves.
“We had to be wary of their threat through Barry Corr and so forth and I am just disappointed that we didn’t nick that winner.
“I was pleased with the players’ attitude and spirit in the second-half, they never stopped going, but maybe a little bit of tiredness crept in from Monday after being down to ten men for so long.
“They kept going, though, they kept pouring forward, but unfortunately they couldn’t get that winner.
“He’s (Schumacher) got great quality when he’s on the ball and from set pieces and he put the ball in with great pace and it’s found its way into the back of the net.
“The conditions were tough with the wind and so forth and if we had got to half-time, which was only eight minutes away, we would have gone on to win the game.
“We gave away a poor goal, though, and that was disappointing. That was the one negative mark from today, the rest was quite good and in the second-half we came strong.
“All goals are preventable, there’s a level of what is acceptable and what’s not, and that wasn’t acceptable.
“It wasn’t a great equaliser, it was just a corner that is swung in and has been headed in.
“The boys have given us everything and that’s what we are going to focus on because that was a punch in the gut.
“We just needed to get that break in front of goal and it wasn’t through the want of trying.
“There was some very good performances today from the lads and we have to stay positive going into the remaining game.”
All eyes turn to Chesterfield’s away trip to Burton Albion tomorrow afternoon and everybody connected with the Cod Army will be hoping Gary Rowett’s team can do them a favour by beating the Spireites.
Alexander, though, says if fortune does not favour Fleetwood, then his side will be ready for the play-offs and wants to conclude a ‘great season’ in the right way.
“We have to go into tomorrow and look at Burton doing us a little bit of a favour.
“They are going to want to win the game anyway because they are up there competing so they will want to keep up their good form.
“It’s a tough place to go, we now that from when we have played there, so we will be looking for that.
“If the result goes for us, we look forward to next week’s game, if it doesn’t we look forward to the play-offs and we stay nice and positive.
"We have had a great season so far, but we want to finish it off right and that’s through being successful.”