‘A clean slate for all from day one’ – Alexander

Fleetwood Town's Manager Graham Alexander
Fleetwood Town's Manager Graham Alexander

Graham Alexander has promised a fresh start for everyone at Fleetwood Town.

This summer has seen a dozen players released at Highbury and five new faces already added.

They are continuing their pursuit of Southend defender Ryan Cresswell and are being linked with York City striker Jason Walker.

Alexander’s squad report in for fitness tests on Friday before beginning pre-season training in earnest next Monday. And boss Alexander says everyone is arriving with something to prove.

“It’s a clean slate for everyone from day one,” he said.

“From the minute they arrive back for pre-season they are playing for places for me.

“They are team-mates but they will have to compete every day for their shirts.”

Town’s pre-season plans are already made, with training on home soil before a trip to Austria for intensive fitness sessions in the alps next month.

Many players dread this time of year, but Alexander loves it.

He said: “I always found pre-season exciting as a player. Yes, there’s a lot of hard work, but the start of the season should be an exciting time for a player. Hopefully they will come in raring to go.”

Among the new faces reporting for training on Friday will be midfielder Jeff Hughes.

The 28-year-old has arrived from Notts County – Town’s opponents in the first round of the Capital One Cup – and he is looking forward to getting started.

Hughes said: “I managed to get away for a break with the family, which was good.

“I’m not one of those who puts a lot of weight on when not exercising, but I will need to get my fitness back again and pre-season is something we all have to go through.

“Then it’s down to getting some momentum going and making ourselves hard to beat.”

Fleetwood are waiting on a response from Southend to their third bid for Cresswell.

The former Bury centre-half is top of Alexander’s wish list. Chesterfield are also believed to be interested in the Yorkshireman, who wants a move north.