Pilley: Patience will be rewarded

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

CHAIRMAN Andy Pilley has called on Fleetwood Town’s supporters to show patience and remains convinced that team boss Graham Alexander will prove himself a “top, top manager”.

Town have won only one of their last eight games, failing to score in five of them, leaving Alexander’s side anxious for victory in tomorrow’s home clash with Dagenham and Redbridge.

Alexander himself believes Town must win the mind games to rekindle their promotion challenge, calling on his squad to show the mental toughness to match their ability.

But chairman Pilley has no doubt his manager will get it right.

He told The Gazette: “Football is a matter of ups downs. This club is in a transitional phase and it will take time.

“It will take time for the players to get used to the manager’s style, but everyone is committed and will continue to pull in the same direction.

“Victory breeds confidence and one good game this weekend could turn it round.

“After Barnet (where Town lost 2-0 on Tuesday), I’m sure Graham would agree the next game cannot come quickly enough, and it’s a great challenge for everyone to put the record straight.

“I’m absolutely confident that Graham will become a top, top manager. He just needs to be given a little more time.”

After the 3-0 win at Accrington 10 days ago raised hopes that Town had put their sticky patch behind them, the defeats at Plymouth and Barnet were particularly frustrating for Alexander.

He told The Gazette: “We did the right things at the right times at Accrington and then went to Plymouth four days later and did not do them. We have to get back to the Accrington mentality.

“The question I have asked the players is, ‘Have we lost those games because the other team had more ability than us or because they wanted to win more?’ I believe we have as much ability as anyone in this division, so it has to be about the mental approach.

“We have shown the mental strength we need in some matches, but it’s about consistency. You want your form to be consistent, but that’s not always something you can control. But you can be consistent in your mental approach and your determination to do everything you can to win the game.”

Despite their recent tribulations, Town remain only six points outside the play-off zone, with seven games left to battle back into the top seven, though Alexander insists he is not looking beyond tomorrow’s match.

After three successive away games, Town return to Highbury tomorrow but the manager added: “Our home and away records are very similar. The next game is always the most imporant whether you are at home or away, and you have to prepare as well as you can to give yourselves the best chance to win.

“We need consistency in our mental appreaoch. We need to fight for every point in this divisiion and we will be fighting for them on Saturday.”

As for his chairman’s comments, Alexander added: “I met with the chairman yesterday and we speak every week. He is thoroughly supportive of what we are trying to do and appreciates the work being put in.

“The biggest pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to win and be as successful as I can be for this football club.”