No new deals until summer says Fleetwood boss

David Ball is among those out of contract

David Ball is among those out of contract

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Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander has told his out of contract stars there will be no new deals until the summer.

As it stands a number of big names in Alexander’s squad could walk away from Highbury at the end of the season.

They include man of the moment David Ball, whose three goals in as many games have kept Town in the play-off chase.

Other players waiting on a new deal include Steven Schumacher, Jeff Hughes, Gareth Evans, Liam Hogan, Jamille Matt, Stewart Murdoch, Stephen Jordan, Nathan Pond and skipper Mark Roberts.

But Alexander has made it clear there will be no movement on talks until the season comes to an end - citing the number of players out of contract as a major reason for delaying talks.

He said: “I’ve spoken to all the players and told them we can’t make a decision until the end of the season.

“That’s because it’s such a big group.

“We need to assess where we finish, what we need to improve and then take it from there.”

Alexander insisted the players had taken the news well and drew on his own experience to empathise with his men.

“To be fair to the players they’ve been really good,” said Alexander.

“I’ve had conversations with all of them but they’ve not let that be a distraction to their performance on the pitch.

“I think they’ve handled it superbly well.

“It’s a difficult time for a player, it’s happened to me a few times.

“You have to box it off.”

And, despite the wait to secure their Highbury futures, Alexander moved to reassure members of his team - who currently sit eighth in League One, four-points off the play-off pace – their performances had not gone unnoticed.

Alexander said: “The only way to earn a contract, a move, wages, is to play well on the pitch.

“I feel a lot of the players have done superbly well in that aspect and put themselves in good positions.”

Town travel to Walsall on Saturday looking to keep their League One play-off dream alive.

Alexander’s men have won their last two fixtures and are unbeaten in four.

Alexander has a near fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to the Bescot Stadium.

Conor McLaughlin, who sat out Monday’s 4-0 thrashing of Yeovil Town with a shoulder injury, trained yesterday.

Alexander insists there’s still no target for his side in terms of league position.

Victory for Sheffield United on Tuesday means Town are unlikely to be able to aim above sixth spot, currently held by Chesterfield