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Alexander: This will be a proper cup tie!

11 August 2014

Boss speaks ahead of trip to New York Stadium in the Capital One Cup

Graham Alexander wants his players to replicate last season’s performance against Rotherham United when the two sides lock horns in the first-round of the Capital One Cup tomorrow evening.

Fleetwood Town recorded a 2-1 win over the Millers, who were promoted the Sky Bet Championship via the League One Play-Offs last season, courtesy of goals from Jeff Hughes and Conor McLaughlin’s memorable long-range strike.

The Cod Army make the trip to the New York Stadium looking to make it through to the second-round of the competition for the first time in their history and Town’s manager admits his side are going to have to be at their best in ‘one of the toughest fixtures at this stage of the competition’.

Speaking to the Club’s official website ahead of the game, Alexander said: “We are looking forward to the game. It will be a very tough game, one of the toughest fixtures at this stage of the competition.

“They have a great stadium, strong vocal support and they are a good team to play against. It will be a proper cup-tie, but we are going there to get a positive result.

“We know how tough it will be, but we can take confidence with how we played on Saturday and take that into the game tomorrow.

“We’ve played them in each of the last two seasons. We got a great result against them last year and we had to be at our best to do that and we will have to do the same again tomorrow.

“They are a very good team, but we are confident that when we get our game going and defend as well as we can do that we will have a good chance.”

Whilst Steve Evans’ side began life back in the Championship with a 1-0 defeat to Derby County, Fleetwood got their League One campaign up and running with a 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.

After digesting the game, Alexander believes his team can step up to another level and is expecting even more from his side as the season goes on.

“It was a great result, but we would have loved have a clean sheet. We have got to get that hard to beat mentality, but I think we did that and only gave a couple of opportunities away.

“There is still room for improvement and we will work hard for that improvement because we know as the season goes on that there will be many stern tests that we face.

“As a start, at home in a new level, it was really pleasing, but I still think there is more to come from our team.”

The only ramification on otherwise near perfect day for the Cod Army was the early departure of new loan signing Stephen Dobbie, who was withdrawn at half time after failing to shake off an earlier injury.

The 31-year-old forward was replaced with Jamie Proctor who marked his debut with an eye-catching display and long range curling effort and after confirming that Dobbie would take no part in tomorrow’s cup-game, Alexander called on Proctor to follow up his excellent start – possibly against the Millers.

“To lose Dobbie after basically half an hour (was a blow). He played until half time, but in the last 10 minutes he was really struggling.

“Proctor came on and took his chance well, but now he needs to follow that up.

“He can’t rest on what he did on Saturday, it’s about constantly proving to yourself, your team mates, your manager and everyone connected that you’re the real deal.

“If Proctor comes into games, or starts games, and plays that way he is going to be a very good player for us.”

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