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Alexander: We had to be patient

18 January 2014

Boss reflects after 2-0 victory over Hartlepool United

Manager Graham Alexander praised his squad for showing patience to overcome a resilient Hartlepool United side at Highbury.

Second half strikes from Jon Parkin and Alex Marrow sealed a 2-0 victory for Alexander’s men to maintain their winning start to 2014 alongside recording their first league clean sheet of the season.

However, the main talking point of the game was in the opening three minutes when the Pools had defender Jordan Richards dismissed for a late challenge on Jeff Hughes, with the Fleetwood winger consequently unable to continue.

“It can be very difficult to play against ten men,” admitted the boss. “The sending off so early on was obviously a main talking point and sometimes thoughts can creep in that you may have already won the game but that certainly wasn’t going to happen. 

“I talked to the lads about being patient and not go and try and win the match within ten minutes. 

“We remained patient and we played some good football in the second half and we could have scored a couple of goals before we actually did. 

“In the end two great finishes from Jon Parkin and Alex Marrow that won us the game.”

Continuing on the subject of the red card, the boss gave an update on Hughes’ condition. “Jeff is in a medical boot and he is on crutches at the moment. 

“At the moment that is just precautionary but Jeff has taken a real whack and unfortunately he had to come straight off. 

“I thought it was a reckless challenge but whether it was a red card or not isn’t for me to decide. We lived in the hands of the referee regarding that decision.

“After that moment in the game we had to be patient but also wary of Hartlepool’s threats because we didn’t want to go down 1-0 against ten men as they can then shut up shop and make it really difficult. 

“We defended correctly throughout and in the second half we created a number of opportunities so overall I am pleased we have collected all three points.”

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