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Boss relishing return to venue he made professional debut at

1 April 2015

Alexander appeared for Scunthorpe on first day of 1991 season

Graham Alexander will return to the venue where he made his professional debut as a player for Scunthorpe United on Good Friday.

appeared for the Iron for the first time at the Priestfield Stadium in 1991, and it is a ground that holds a special place in his heart.

His first away game as manager of the Cod Army was also in Kent back in December 2012, when Town played out a 2-2 draw against the Gills.

Speaking ahead of the game, he said: “I made my full-league debut as a player there on the first day of the season back in 1991 so I’ve come up against Gillingham many times as a player.

“It was my first away game in charge of Fleetwood as well, and I think it was a very good performance against an eventual promotion winning team.

“If we go down there and produce another performance like that, then I think the result will follow, but it is two different teams now in personnel.

“The players are looking forward to going to a place like this and pitting their wits against a good team, and we’re going down there to get a positive result.

“They are a club who are very well structured, and have been very close to the Premier League in the past when they were in the Championship.

“They’re an established club, but we’ve been coming up against these sort of teams all season, and it’s another test for us, but one that I know the players will look forward to.

Alexander is full of admiration for the travelling Cod Army who will make the long trip south on Friday, and is hoping his players can reward them with three points.

“The journeys haven’t been too bad as of late, but on Good Friday going all the way down there is a bit cruel on us and our supporters.

“We’ve been on these journeys a lot over the last 18 months so we’re looking forward to the game, as we want to carry on how we left off against Preston on Sunday.

“We know Gillingham have had a pick-up of results in the last couple of months, and it’s always a hard place to go.

“We know it will be a tough game but I think the players will take great confidence from the second half on Sunday, and hopefully take it into Friday.

“We know that we’ll have our supporters going down to Gillingham, and I’m sure that Yeovil will be expecting their same group to come up to us on Monday.

“I think they’ll use it as a little bit of an adventure and a day out. I know they have to get up early, and get home late and so forth, and it’s not without expense as well, but it builds camaraderie between the supporters. I

“It builds it between the team when you go and play at these places, so there are a lot of positives even for me as a manager.

“I actually don’t mind the long trips every now and then because it gives you more time to socialise with your players, and the players to socialise with each other, so there are always positives to come out of any situation and I think that’s one.

The manager has been pleased with the impact of his substitutes in recent weeks, with the likes of Ash Hunter and David Ball contributing.

“We want players here competing, and we want players when they come off the bench to improve their performance, which they all have in the last few weeks.

“To come back against two very good teams and get a point in each of our last two games shows great spirit.

“It just shows the mentality and motivation in the squad is there, and I don’t think it is the first time we’ve come from behind to draw or win a game this season.

“Bally’s goal on Sunday was absolutely amazing. I don’t think Highbury will have seen a better goal than that over the last ten years, it was a fantastic finish.”

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