Manager looks half-way status
Graham Alexander says it has done the Fleetwood Town squad good to have a break over last weekend as they prepare to begin the second half of the season this weekend away at Dagenham & Redbridge.
With no scheduled game for Fleetwood Town last weekend, due to FA Cup third round games taking place, Alexander gave his squad the weekend off to recuperate following the hectic Christmas period.
The Town squad, though, alongside new loan signing Mikael Mandron, were back in training on Monday as they battled the blustery wintry conditions in preparations for Fleetwood’s visit to Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend.
“It was quite a good break for the lads,” Alexander said. “It came at a time when there was a few bumps and bruises after playing a lot of games.
“It’s the half way stage in the league season for us so it probably came at a good time for the lads just to have a little break.
“We have been bang at it since coming back; it’s been a bit of a monsoon out there and a bit of a mud bath, but the lads look really eager to get back into training.
“We put on a physical training session yesterday morning and to be fair to them, they all attacked it in the right manger and gave it everything they have got.
“You could see that they have missed a couple of days and they was just eager to get back out there on the training pitch.”
The Fleetwood manager also reflected on his side’s first half of the season, which sees Town not only holding a place in the Sky Bet League 2 play-off places, but also in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final.
Town have won the joint most games in the league with 12 over the first 23 league games of the season, but have only drawn two games all season and Alexander has highlighted that fact as a point of improvement for the second half of the campaign.
“We definitely know we could have improved on the league situation, without a doubt. I think we have won enough games to be in a very good position, but I think we needed to draw a few more of those defeats.
“That’s what we are going to try and improve in the second part of the season, I think if we win the same amount of games then we will be in a very good position, but we need to not get beat as often.
“That’s the target for everyone and we are always looking to improve every little aspect of our game, of our team, and the players themselves and that will go on to the end of the season.”
After only six days of the transfer window, Fleetwood secured their first signing of the New Year with the loan acquisition of striker Mikael Mandron from Sunderland and Alexander was delighted to secure the 19-year-olds services until the end of the season.
“We’ve done a little bit of work with Mikael Mandron, who is coming in from Sunderland, a lad who we have a watched on numerous occasions all season really.
“There was possibly an opportunity to bring him earlier but he got injured, so we couldn’t do that, but he is back to full fitness now.
“With the stage of the season we are at and with the squad situation, Jamma is still going to be out for a while yet, I think it just needed a bit of strengthening in there as well.
“He is a very good player, a very good young player, who has been around the first team at Sunderland last season.
“He has carried on his goal scoring form for the (under) 21s this year and he is a great addition to the squad.”
Town have until the end of the month to add further names to their ranks, but although Alexander is not actively looking to add players ‘of a similar ilk’ to his side, he insists if a player becomes available who will improve his current squad then he will look to pursue a deal.
“We will only add if it can improve us and help the group that we have now. We are not searching high and low for players that we have got of a similar ilk or what we have got.
“If someone becomes available and if we can do it and they will improve us then we will try and do that.
“The chairman has been really supportive, but it’s just important that we keep the spirit that is in the group, which is massively important and we have had since day one.
“It doesn’t need a major overhaul, we are happy with the squad, but as every manager in the football league will tell you, they would like to improve it slightly and give the players they have a supporting hand.”
NEXT AWAY Dagenham & Redbridge, Saturday 11 January, KO 3pm. Depart 7am. £25.00 or £12.50 season / half-season ticket holders. Book at club shop or call 01253 775080.