Alexander: So tough at the top

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

Fleetwood Town boss Graham Alexander reckons the competition to escape from League Two will be fierce ... and hard to predict.

He asserts that as many as nine clubs have valid ambitions to earn promotion, including tomorrow’s visitors Newport County.

No team has made a run for it at the top or pieced together a lengthy sequence without defeat, and Alexander said: “It’s only 14 games and there are a lot of clubs with similar ambitions of being in the shake-up at the end of the season.

“We are one of those, but there are eight or nine with similar ambitions.”

The Town boss said the situation with no team bursting clear from the pack could continue.

“It might be like that for a little while yet. You have to be patient because it’s a long season.

“We had a little blip for a couple of weeks but we had a great win last Saturday at York.

“I thought we did really well against them to win 2-0 and we controlled the game for long parts.

“We passed it at the right time and defended strongly. They are the sort of ingredients we will be looking for against Newport on Saturday.”

While Fleetwood are third in the table, Newport occupy one of the play-off places and come to Highbury on the back of a 3-1 win over Southend at Rodney Parade.

Their manager Justin Edinburgh, best known as a player for his time at Tottenham Hotspur, has proved an inspired appointment after two years in the job.

Edinburgh, who recently penned a two-and-half-year contract extension, led County to the FA Trophy final and got the Exiles promoted back to the Football League following an absence of a quarter of a century.

Alexander said: “Newport obviously had a great season last year and that’s how they got promoted to the Football League.

“They seem to have carried that on, so it will be a tough game.

“We haven’t had an easy one yet and I don’t expect to have one either.

“Newport County have their strengths but so have we, and it has not surprised me one bit how well they have done.”

Full preview in Friday’s Gazette