Fleetwood Town boss wants calm under pressure

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

Keep calm and carry on is the message from Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander as Fleetwood look to revive their fortunes at York City.

Back-to-back defeats have been tough to take in the Fleetwood camp and Alexander is keen to see his men bounce back at Bootham Crescent.

The Fleetwood boss, despite going down 2-0 at Southend on Friday, followed up with a 1-0 home reverse at the hands of Scunthorpe United, insisted there’s not a lot to fix.

“We’ve got to put the last two results behind us,” he said

“As for the football, we’ve created enough chances to score goals, the stats back that up.

“The results are disappointing and not what we’re looking for.

“It’s a results-based business and we’re looking to improve on where we are at.

“There’s not a lot wrong in terms of the performances.

“We’ve just probably gone away from the fluid, attacking, passing game we’ve had and went a little bit too long too early on Tuesday.

“We played into Scunthorpe’s hands there.”

And Alexander knows there are lessons to be learned from the last two games, which have seen Town slide from second spot in League Two to fifth.

He said: “Most of the time you learn more from defeats than wins.

“We’ve taken all we can from the last two games and we’ll put it to use tomorrow.”

He’ll be urging his players to make better use of the ball against the Minstermen and to put in a more consistent display over 90 minutes.

The margins, Alexander knows, are fine and he wants to see better judgement and a lot more composure.

He said: “We thought we could have been better between both boxes on Tuesday.

“We needed to be calmer, to give ourselves more time on the ball.

“We were rushing things the other night.

“That’s down to wanting to win the game, being frustrated at not being in the lead and its come to a head.

“We go into this game sticking to what we believe in, which has served us well so far.

“We’ve just got to find that extra bit of consistency in our performances.”

One thing the Town boss knows is the importance of halting the slide before it starts knocking confidence.

“Winning is a habit and losing is a habit,” he said.

“We’ve responded really well this season to setbacks.

“We didn’t manage it on Tuesday.

“But we want to win every game we go into.

“Even if we’ve won 10 on the bounce we want to win that 11th.

“We’ve got to go there and put in the kind of performance we know we can produce.

“That will be enough.

“We know we have to do a lot of things well, some things better than we have done recently.”

Town haven’t scored in more than 180 minutes of football.

While Alexander believes Town have proven goal-scorers within the ranks, he is worried chances aren’t being taken.

The manager said: “It’s a concern when you have 22 shots on goal, don’t score and they score from one shot on target.

“There’s luck involved but there’s quality involved as well.

“We can’t just say it was bad luck we’ve got to ask if we can improve ourselves in the final touch, the final pass, the cross.

“I think we can.

“We’ve got goalscorers throughout the team.

“But you’re not going to score three or four every game.

“Perhaps we need to go back to being hard to beat, for one to be enough every game.

“However you win a game it doesn’t matter as long as you win.”

One thing he’d like to see improved from Tuesday is the use of Town’s wide men.

Matty Blair and Gareth Evans caused big problems for The Iron early on at Highbury but were shut out of the game as Town became increasingly impatient in their approach play.

He’s told the squad it’s something which needs sorting.

“We like to play quite an expansive game,” said Alexander

“We play with wingers, ask them to have an attacking mindset.

“We have central midfielders who like to bomb on as well.

“I think on Tuesday instead of persevering with how we were playing, getting it wide and exploiting those spaces we went a little more central and that helped Scunthorpe.

“They could keep us at arms length.

“That’s what we’re trying to take from the game.

“Showing the boys where we can improve, showing the boys where we are good and showing them we can win games.

“I think that is an area in which we’re good.”.