Boss: Wins must follow

Alan Goodall celebrates his goal with Alex Marrow
Alan Goodall celebrates his goal with Alex Marrow

GRAHAM Alexander hopes Fleetwood Town can use a hard earned point at Gillingham as a springboard to launch his side back into the play-off chase.

Town surrendered a two goal lead against the table toppers at Priestfield, but Alexander insisted he was encouraged by the performance – his side dominating the first half.

He said: “We want to build on each performance and each result.

“We’ve come to the league leaders and got a point.

“Now we want to get some wins under our belts, keep in touch with the boys at the top of the league and cement a place in the play-offs.

“That starts next week with another tough away trip.

“But we’ll do our best.”

Town took a two goal lead through Junior Brown and Alan Goodall before Charlie Lee and Myles Weston hit back for their hosts.

Alexander added: “At 2-0 up you really want to put yourself in the driving seat and take the three points.

But, realistically coming to Gillingham, top of the league, is going to be tough.

They put you under pressure around the box.

But first half I thought we played exceptionally well.

We kept them at arms length, didn’t let them get into the box and we
deserved to be in front.

They got the goal just before half-time, then in the second half it was long throw after long throw, free kicks and set pieces and you’re going to be put under pressure.

“Speaking in the changing room the lads are disappointed we haven’t won the game and that’s a good feeling because we’ve come to the league leaders and we’re disappointed with the result.”

Lee’s effort just before the break was a blow to Fleetwood who, up to that point, had controlled the game.

“If you concede one just before half time, they go in buoyed by that and that’s football,” said Alexander.

“But I spoke to the lads at half-time and they all agreed we would have taken being one goal up so we just needed to be confident and positive.

“They brought on some big lads and you knew what you were going to get but, other than a couple of lapses, we stood up to it.”

Town certainly needed to show character against a Gills onslaught, Goodall taking a shot in the face to protect Fleetwood’s narrow lead.

Alexander was pleased with the level of commitment.

He continued: “Scott Davies has hardly had a save to make and that’s down to the lads in front of him.

“We talk to them every day about the commitment at the back.

“Strikers earn their corn in one box and defenders in the other.

“If you don’t want to stick your head in there and be courageous then you’re in the wrong game.

“We have 14 committed players today and that is great to see.”

And Alexander insisted his Fleetwood side wouldn’t go out, no matter where they were, with the intention of settling for a point.

He said: We wanted to be brave, we left two up
because at the end of the day what do you want to do? Stick 11 men behind a ball and not offer a threat?

“We want to win games and we came here looking to win.

“We’ll take a point, but we wanted all three and that’s how we’ll approach every game.”

Steven Gillespie missed a superb chance to put Town 3-1 up just before Gills levelled, robbing keeper Stuart Nelson, but unable to roll the ball into the back of the net.

But Alexander was philosophical.

He said: “Had Steven Gillespie put the chance away at 2-1 it might have ended differently.

“He’s won the ball and it’s one of those that runs right across the goal.

“If it’s gone in, we’d have probably seen the game out and it’s happy days.

“But it wasn’t to be and they scored not long after.

“But we had to withstand a lot of pressure in the second half and for the majority we stood up to it well.

“We’re disappointed with the goals we’ve given away.

“I think we can do better, they were avoidable goals.

“But all in all I’m encouraged.

“They really built on the Southend performance.

“We were disappointed after that with our threat in the final third after that one.

“But against Gillingham we really created opportunities. We were a real threat.

“We were brave and we were positive which was great to see,

“I’m sure Martin Allen will agree it was a good competitive game.”