Goalkeeper Alex Cairns sat down with the press and looked ahead to this weekend’s tie against Portsmouth, whilst also looking back on his time at the club with a big milestone fast approaching.
Town’s number one is sitting two appearances off 200 in the league for the Cods and will be looking to feature in the upcoming games to make sure he is the first player in the club’s history to reach this milestone in the Football League.
Here’s what Alex had to say:
On being close to reaching 200 league appearances…
“I keep ticking these off, don’t I? It’s a nice feeling! Before I came to Fleetwood, I was looking for a permanent home where I could basically be given the opportunity to develop and properly show what I can do. This club has been that for me as they have let me showcase myself and show what I am – it’s been a massive part of my development and my learning of how football works.
“I owe quite a lot to this football club in the way that they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin and I’m looking forward to repaying that over these next two months, by putting in the performances that mean we are in this division next season and then potentially progress in the future.
“I’ve got half an eye on getting that 200th appearance against Wigan [Athletic] on Tuesday, but I will make sure that I do the best I can in the next game and then fully focus on the record after that. This weekend is all about us getting the three points and putting a good performance together. I’m looking forward to breaking this record but, until then, we need to focus on getting this game on and move on.”
On the current position in the table…
“We are in this position at the moment because we haven’t been good enough for large parts of the season but, in the same breath, I feel like we’ve been unlucky in a lot of the games and in terms of injuries - I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more injury-hit season than what I have done this season, especially with key players that are massive on the pitch and in the changing room as well.
“We don’t want to be in a relegation scrap, it’s not what this club is about, we are trying to go somewhere. At this moment in time, we are looking for three points from every game. At this point, we are going into this game going for three points, it’s about winning games and the more we win, the bigger the chance we have in being in this division come the end of the season.
“The beauty of the position we are in is that it’s in our hands. We can’t get too carried away because we are above the relegation zone at the minute, it means nothing until the final whistle goes on the final day and we know we aren’t getting relegated, that’s when we can have a breather and reflect on what’s happened and what we can improve on.”
On the competition within League One…
“Going into this season, we knew that this was the strongest League One has been since I’ve been at the football club anyway in terms of statures of the football clubs competing in it. We’ve played Portsmouth and Wigan [Athletic] before in this league and we know that they are in this league for a reason. We will challenge them whether they are at the top or the bottom, we are all in the same league and fighting in the same pond; we are going to head to both places and put in a good showing as a group.
“A lot has changed since we last played Portsmouth, both on and off the pitch. A lot of things have changed at the football club, but the rules at the club are the same, we want to progress and do better, which is the way we are looking at things – we want to move forwards rather than look back.
On how the squad can knuckle down and group up…
“We do think that we are in a false position when you look at some of the performances, we’ve had this year, but we are where we are at the moment. I’ve been in places where you look around the dressing room and think ‘who can I count on?’ and, in the current dressing room, I think there are lots that I can count on.
“I’d like to think we’ve got more than enough in this group; I trust the group of players down there [in the changing room] as they are brilliant to work with on and off the pitch. We’ve got a good comradery and that should only stand us in good stead until the end of the season. It’s been a difficult year, but also one that players like me, Danny Andrew, [Tom] Clarkey, and other lads that have been available to try and keep the lads as close-knit as we can.
“You’ve got experienced players like Joe Garner, Tom Clarke, and Anthony Pilkington who are big players that have had great careers and that will only help us as players who have played at this level for a long time. Before we look at other players that we can bounce off of, we need to look at ourselves and make sure that we are the best that we can be individually – once we do that, we will be absolutely fine.”