Fleetwood must defend Highbury fortress

Graham Alexander is looking to see Fleetwood keep up their stunning Highbury run when they host Walsall tomorrow.

Going into the Saddlers clash Town can boast an unbeaten home record in the league stretching back more than nine months.

Graham Alexander

Graham Alexander

Their last defeat at Highbury was in League Two, against Plymouth Argyle in February.

And Alexander made it clear continued success in front of the Highbury faithful is crucial to sustain a League One challenge

“It’s obviously something that we’re proud of,” he said.

“It’s a practical run, it gets us points.

“You don’t get anything else apart from that.

“But it’s important because for the first half of last season I think we were too helter-skelter with our results at home and it cost us a top three spot in the end.

“Our away form was great but we lost too many games when we were a bit gung-ho.

“We were trying to win every game as soon as possible and it cost us.

“The players have done a lot of work on how we want to play at home.

“We’ve got a decent record but it’s only as good as the work you put in and we have to maintain that.”

The Fleetwood boss credited the home crowd for some of the success Town have enjoyed on the Fylde coast.

He insisted the supporters had been crucial when his team found themselves up against it.

“The supporters have played their part,” he told The Gazette.

“There have been games when we’ve been behind and they have stuck with us.

“They’ve really got behind us and it’s got us back into games.

“We want to maintain that.”

Town have won back-to-back league fixtures, against Gillingham and Yeovil by just one goal, keeping clean sheets in both.

And the manager made it clear he’d take the same again.

He said: “I don’t care how we win as long as we win.

“Being hard to beat, being strong defensively, it makes all the difference.

“We saw that last week and we need to keep it up.

“1-0 wins, any manager will be happy with that.

“We want the three points.

“It’ll be a tough game, Walsall are experienced at this level. But it will be a good game because they like to get the ball down and play. Hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

Fleetwood have no new injury worries and welcome back Conor McLaughlin from international duty.

Martin Paterson is in line to make his Highbury debut having joined on loan from Huddersfield Town.