Manager following Capital One Cup exitGraham Alexander believes his Fleetwood Town players showed what a good team they are as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Championship side Rotherham United in the Capital One Cup first round.
Matt Derbyshire’s penalty in the second half of extra time was enough to settle the contest and ensure that Fleetwood did not upset their higher rank opponents and secure their place in the second round of the competition for the first time in their history.
Fleetwood, though, had to recover from a slow start to the fixture before they really took the game to the Millers in the second half, and Alexander, the Fleetwood manager, believes his side were more than a match for the second tier side.
Speaking to the Club’s official website, Alexander said: “We’re really disappointed. We thought, after the first 20—25 minutes when we stood off them, that we showed them too much respect.
“I thought after that we showed what a good team we were. Over the whole game, extra time included, I thought we were the better team.”
“We know what a good team we are. We had to remind the players of how good they are at half time and I thought they showed that.
“We had some great opportunities, they had a couple as well, but we said we would come here and give them a proper game and we did that. There’s just a sour taste in the mouth with how we lost it.
“We want to do well in every game we play. There’s no friendlies or gimmes and we came here with a strong side.
“We kept that strong side out there and you can see from the performance that we came here to win the game.
“We represent Fleetwood and there’s no game where we can take that lightly. We have to go into every game looking to do the best we can and we did that tonight.”
Town’s backline had to remain resilient for large periods of the game to keep Rotherham at bay and Alexander reserved special praise for the back five with how they ‘carried the team’.
“The back five and Chris Maxwell in goal carried the team. I don’t think we got enough from the front five, but then in the second half we did and we played like a full team.
“The defenders, allied with Murdo (Stewart Murdoch) and Chris Maxwell, played exceptionally well all game.
“To come here, to one of the highest scoring teams over the last two years and keep them down to one penalty, I think we can take pride from that.
“We’re disappointed that we haven’t gone through because we came here and wanted to win the game.”
With Stephen Dobbie ruled out of the game due to injury, Jamie Proctor was handed his first start since signing for the Club from Crawley Town, whilst Adam Campbell, a second half substitute, was given his first appearance as a Town player.
Alexander recognised the threat his forwards carried as they carved out a number of opportunities before reiterating his disappointment that his players did not get the result they deserved.
He added: “We know he has got pace, he’s good movement, a nice touch and is a proper centre forward and I thought the other attacking players, when they grew into the game, caused them problems.
“Jamie Proctor, after the first half hour, showed what a formidable striker he can be. There was some very, very good performances tonight and I’m just disappointed that they didn’t get the result they deserved.”
Fleetwood Town are next in action on Saturday away at Notts County. For full ticket information please click here