Alexander fuming as Fleetwood Town mauled at Exeter

Antoni Sarcevic in action at Exeter
Antoni Sarcevic in action at Exeter

Toughen up - and quickly.

That was the message from Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander as his side became the first to be beaten at Exeter since October.

Alexander said: “People will be looking at us saying we’ve got a soft chin and we can’t defend ourselves.

“We’re in the changing room moaning about the referee.

“What can we say, we can’t have a go at the referee because it was us who weren’t good enough.”

Once again Alexander was left to question his team’s competitive spirit, Exeter fighting for every ball and well worth the 3-0 scoreline.

Alexander said: “The first goal was disappointing, all three were from set pieces which was disappointing because of the amount of work we do on them.

“And then we didn’t compete at the level we expect against any team, no matter their position in the table.”

And Alexander believes only one of his starting eleven played for their shirt.

“We were outbattled,” he said.

“We did not compete.

“There was one individual who can look at himself and say he did everything he had to do and that was Nathan Pond.

“He was outstanding but it looked like it was more important for Exeter to get the three points than us. That’s not the case.

“The lads are hurt and they should be. But you can’t say you’re hurt afterwards when you’ve had a chance to put it right on the grass.

“I didn’t see enough to do that until the game was virtually finished.

“There was nothing in it before the first goal. It was quite a flat game, the first one gives them a lift.

“We didn’t really recover from that to half time. Second half we had a little bit more energy, more opportunities.”