Fleetwood boss backs forward line

Stephen Dobbie
Stephen Dobbie

Fleetwood Town’s strike pairing will produce goals, insists manager Graham Alexander.

Goals by midfielders Josh Morris and Gareth Evans have ensured a healthy start to the year, though frontmen Jamie Proctor and Stephen Dobbie have both come close to adding to their tallies during that time.

And Alexander believes they deserve rewards for their efforts as Fleetwood prepare to host Oldham 
Athletic in a North-West derby on Saturday.

“I don’t care where the goals are coming from as long as we’re scoring them,” admitted Alexander, who endured a difficult December as his side suffered a goal drought.

“But I’ve got to give credit to the front two. On Saturday they were superb in how they linked up and played each other in.

“Stephen Dobbie was unlucky in the first half. He’s hit the bar and Jamie Proctor’s set up the goal.

“The boys are in there and I don’t care who scores the goals as long as we’re winning and taking points.

“But the strikers deserve a goal because they’re working so hard.”

Now he’s calling on former Preston man Proctor and on-loan Crystal Palace forward Dobbie to turn chances into goals.

“It’s up to them to take their opportunities, to hit the target and test people,” said Alexander

“Do that and the goals will come.

“As long as we’re giving them the ammunition and we realise what a threat we have up front it will happen.

“They are both superb players and we saw at the weekend what they offer.”

And the Fleetwood boss admitted the pair have more to offer than finishing power – both are comfortable with the ball at their feet and have a creative edge to their game.

“They are more than just a strike pair,” added the Fleetwood boss.

“They are good footballers in their own right, but 
sometimes with good footballers they want to do everything on the pitch ... apart from score goals. Sometimes you want to take a bit of the ability away, so they just focus on the goals.

“But I’d rather have good players and create goalscorers out of them.

“I think they can both do it. We’ve just got to get them in the right areas.

“But with their link-up play and their ability to bring others into the game, it’s great to have them in the team.”

Town have won back-to-back away games but haven’t won at Highbury since 
beating Gillingham in November.

That’s a run Alexander will be keen to end, with Oldham and Crawley visiting the Fylde coast in quick succession.

The Town boss said: “Away from home or at home, it doesn’t matter.

“I think we’ve won more away from Highbury (five away wins to four home wins).

“We want to win games at home because the fans have turned out in their numbers.

“If we can produce performances like we have against Swindon this season and can score goals when we are on top in games, then I believe we can do ourselves justice.”