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Manager: We controlled the game

5 April 2014

Graham Alexander pleased with his team's performance at Oxford

Graham Alexander felt Fleetwood Town ‘bossed’ large periods of the contest in their 2-0 win over Oxford United as they closed the gap on the Sky Bet League 2 automatic promotion places to just three points.

Striker David Ball scored his thirteenth goal of the season midway through the first half as he tapped in from Antoni Sarcevic’s corner, before Sarcevic, himself, crashed in a second after half time as Fleetwood claimed their tenth away league victory of the season.

In the aftermath of the game, Town manager Alexander, who named the same side from goalless draw with league leaders Rochdale the week previous, praised the ‘energy and passing ability of his side against tough opposition.

Speaking to Cod Army Player, Alexander said: “I thought we bossed the game – especially in the first half. 

“We could have scored before we did, it was really pleasing to get the goal, we deserved it and we would have loved a second before half time to give us a little bit of breathing space. 

“It came in the second half through a great strike from Sarc and it is a great three points, clean sheet as well, and the boys are really happy.

“It was similar to the first half against Rochdale last week where we had a good start for the first 20-25 minutes, but we didn’t score the goal you need to when you’re on top. 

“We did today after missing a couple of chances and the lads kept believing in themselves and kept pouring forward showing great energy and great passing ability. 

“It was really pleasing, the goals have come through set-pieces, but we could have scored from open play as well. It’s a tough task to come here and win and I’m glad we did.”

Town’s manager heaped further praise on attacking partnership of David Ball and Iain Hume After another positive performance, but also reserved praise for all corners of his squad for the work rate they put in to come away with their second consecutive clean sheet.

 “He’s (Ball) been unfortunate and picked up a couple of injuries this season, but we know what we are going to get with Bally. 

“He’s non-stop energy, he brings others into play, he’s got clever movement and he knows where the goal is. I thought the pair of them, Humey as well, were a handful today.

“He (Hume) is a bit down on himself at the moment because he is a goalscorer and wants to score goals, but what he gives to the team if he doesn’t score is just as important. 

“We don’t care who scores the goals as long as we get them and we don’t want to forget about the lads at the back because a clean sheet is fantastic and it was thoroughly deserved as well.

“Right through to the forwards you see the work rate they put in off the ball and we ask the midfielders to put in a hard shift, and they have to be fit to do that.

“They are and they left every ounce on the pitch, which they did today and we have to continue that in the other games.”

After producing such a commanding performance against fellow promotion chasing opposition, Alexander and has called on his players to reproduce the same performance levels in the crucial final ‘five big games’ of the season.

“We have got five games to go and we need to win as many as possible to give ourselves the best chances. 

“We want to get into that top three and this is a small step towards that top three, but we have got five big games to go and we will see where we are after that.”

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