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Alexander's Chesterfield reaction

3 May 2014

Manager's thoughts after final league game of the season

Graham Alexander admitted the finer details in Fleetwood Town’s performance was what cost them in their 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield on the final day of the Football League season.

Two goals in four second-half minutes from Sam Hird and Gary Roberts ensured the Spireites came from behind against Fleetwood, who opened the scoring through a wonderful Matty Blair finish in comfortable first-half display, to lift the Sky Bet League 2 title.

With the play-offs in mind, Fleetwood’s manager made a host of changes to his starting line-up and Alexander was particularly disappointed with how his side dealt with Chesterfield’s two goals.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Alexander said: “At half-time we had kept them at arms length and we had controlled how we wanted to play and how they wanted to play. 

“They reverted to a style that they didn’t want to and we was 1-0 up and looking good. 

“We spoke about the finer details in games and the first goal, especially, is really poor from the second phase of a set piece and it shouldn’t have happened.

“We had a really good chance at the other end right before that and you think if you put that away you’re 2-0 up and you can pick them off. 

“We didn’t take it and I am really disappointed in the manner of the first goal, well both of them really, with the timing and from there it was hard to get back into it.

“We had everyone back for both set pieces and it is disappointing. I am not going to talk about individuals, but we have to learn that when there is a job to be done – that’s what football is about – it’s about doing
your job and I think set pieces are black and white. 

“Unfortunately we didn’t and we end up losing the game and Chesterfield have got the win. 

“We wanted to come and win the game, as we showed in the first half, but after that and towards the end, but we have got our own priorities and they’re next week.”

Alexander made five changes to his side as he rested a number of key players ahead of the play-off double header starting a week today and the 42-year-old, the goals aside, was pleased with how his makeshift side performed.

“When we have changed the team in the past, like we did in the JPT, we have played well. In the first 45 minutes we did that. 

“Goals change games, though, and that’s what’s happened today. We have given a break to a couple of players who were looking a little jaded, we have rested a couple of players who are nursing players and we have given available minutes to players that haven’t played for a little while. 

“Our target was to come in, hopefully win the game, be competitive, which we were, and come in Monday morning have 18-19 fit good players ready for the play-offs. Hopefully that is the case Monday morning.”

On a frantic final day of the Football League season, results ensured that the Cod Army will face York City, who came from two goals down to draw with Scunthorpe United, over a play-off double header.

Nigel Worthington’s side have been a revelation since the turn of the year to move from a side battling relegation to promotion contenders and Alexander has called on his side to show their qualities in the first-leg next Saturday at Bootham Crescent.

“They have had a great second half to the season. All four teams (in the play-offs) have their qualities and their targets. It’s about us now.

“We go into the York games and we know of their qualities. They have been on a fantastic run and have been very hard to beat and not conceded a lot of goals. 

“We believe, though, that we have some great qualities within our team as well and we have to make sure they are on show next Saturday.”


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