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Alexander: We expect whoever we pick to perform

4 September 2015

Cod Army will be without Conor McLaughlin and Declan McManus

Rochdale are the visitors to Highbury on Saturday afternoon, and boss Graham Alexander wants his team to bounce back from last week’s setback.

The Cod Army slipped to a reverse against Paul Dickov’s Doncaster Rovers in South Yorkshire, with two first half goals condemning them to defeat.

However Alexander has urged his players to respond to defeat in the best possible way in front of the Cod Army faithful on Saturday.

He said: “We picked up a great win at Highbury against Colchester last time out especially coming after scoring four at Bury the previous game.

“We know Rochdale are a very good team with some good players, so know the threat they carry as we’ve had a few battles with them down the years.”

Town will be without both Conor McLaughlin and Declan McManus this weekend, as the pair have teamed up with their international sides.

“We’re just waiting on a few bodies to come back as we are a little stretched, and with Conor McLaughlin being away too it’s made the situation a little worse.

“Conor’s absence weakens us slightly but it gives someone else an opportunity to impress. We want people like Conor to get that recognition though and we push them forward.

“Whoever we put out and whichever team we put out, we expect them to perform so we have to concentrate on the players who are fit.

“It makes us very proud that we’ve got two players away on international duty, and it gives someone else an opportunity and that’s how football works.

“As I’ve told the lads already, there will always be injuries, suspensions and international call-ups, so there will always be a space for someone to step in.”

The manager also gave an update on defenders Nathan Pond and Eggert Jonsson who are recovering from their respective injuries.

“We’re probably looking at four to six weeks with Nathan, but he’s out of the medical boot which he was in for a while and is walking around gingerly.

“But he’s a tough lad and had it been someone else then the injury could have affected them a lot more, so hopefully we’ll have him back in that period.

“We’re waiting on Eggert as he’s only trained this week so are taking it day by day. He has been out for a couple of weeks so we’ll see how he reacts.

“Fingers crossed he might be an addition to the squad, but it’s too early to say yet and we’ll wait until Friday before making a final decision.”

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