Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander called for better from his experienced players as he looks to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing defeat.
Town’s 2-1 loss at Wigan Athletic continued a winless September.
And Alexander, who has made a big issue of his side’s inexperience, made it clear those who have a pedigree in the Football League must make their mark.
“We’re not talking about kids who haven’t played,” he said.
“We’ve got players who are learning the game but we’ve got experienced players in there who I expect higher levels from.
“That was not the case on Saturday for two thirds of the game.
“We have to make sure we compete for 90 minutes or 95 minutes of a game because nobody is going to roll over and let us take what we want.”
Alexander hinted that if his senior players continued to under-perform he might turn to those coming through the development ranks.
He told The Gazette the up and coming players will be hungry to make their mark and break into the first team if given the chance.
“If I was one of the young players looking in, I’d say ‘Give me a chance’. That’s the nature of the beast.
“If you’re out there to perform, you have to perform. But the lads know that – they’re not stupid. They’ve got a great work ethic.
“We will make mistakes from time to time. We will get beaten but it’s the manner of the defeat.
“So far this season I’ve been pleased not always with the results but with the performance levels.
That wasn’t the case on Saturday and we have to better if we want to do well.”
Fleetwood were without two key defenders at the weekend – Conor McLaughlin and Danny Andrew, who are also potentially ruled out of Saturday’s home clash with Port Vale as they nurse hamstring injuries.
But Alexander insists that shouldn’t matter.“We lost Danny Andrew on Wednesday and we lost Conor McLaughlin on Friday, midway through training,” he explained
“Injuries have mixed it up but we won’t make excuses
“Saturday’s teams wasn’t the one we planned to play but we still expect them to go out there and play.
“This is going to happen over the course of the season – you are going to lose players at the last minute.
“You’re going to have to fill in gaps and change things around. It’s part and parcel of football.”