Alexander: It’s just another game

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

Graham Alexander has made it clear tomorrow’s top of the table showdown with Chesterfield is ‘just another game’ for his Fleetwood Town side.

Victory over Paul Cook’s Spireites would take Town top of Sky Bet League Two.

But the manager is keen to keep players’ feet on the ground ahead of the hotly anticipated Highbury clash.

He told The Gazette: “It’s just another game.

“When I say these things I mean them.

“It’s three points, that’s it.

“If we win it it’s three points in the bag, if we lose we won’t lose our focus on things.

“That’s how we’re going to attack it.

“If we win it will be a good three points against a good team, but that’s it.

“It will be tough but we’re confident what we’ve got in our changing room can compete against any side.

“We’ve just got to make sure we bring it to the table on Saturday.”

Chesterfield’s red hot start to the season fizzled out a fortnight ago with defeat to local rivals Mansfield Town. Last weekend Fleetwood were able to close the gap to just one point as Cook’s men threw away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at Morecambe, while Town ran out 3-1 winners at Bristol Rovers.

Alexander was impressed with what the Shrimps had been able to do.

He said: “If that happens in any game it’s a great turnaround.

“But for Morecambe to do it against the league’s a great day for them and a bad day at the office for Chesterfield.

“We’ve done our homework and we have to concentrate on our own performance.

“If we get that right we’ll be competitive against any team.

“We have to make sure we get that right.”

Chesterfield’s form coming into the Highbury clash has raised hopes of a Fleetwood win, but Alexander wasn’t getting wrapped up in the fervour.

He said: “They started off exceptionally well.

“You couldn’t ask for better, so many wins on the bounce.

“They opened up a little gap.

“It’s been brought a bit closer with their last couple of results.

It’s a long season, nothing will be won or lost on Saturday.

“It’s an important three points for both teams but it decides nothing.

“Hopefully it will be a good game and a positive one for us.

“We’re expecting a tough game but we want to make it tough for Chesterfield as well.”

Fleetwood couldn’t have enjoyed a better week ahead of the game, following up their West Country win with a 4-0 thrashing of League One Crewe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And the Fleetwood boss admitted confidence was high.

He said: “It’s been a good build up with Tuesday’s result and Saturday’s hard-fought win down at Bristol Rovers.

“To change the team Tuesday night and come out with that result was great news for everyone.

“We’re going into the game full of confidence, we know it’s going to be tough but everyone is looking forward to it.”

And hopes are high, in the Fleetwood camp, that there will be a real buzz about Highbury come 3pm tomorrow

Alexander said: “I think Chesterfield will bring their numbers.

“When we get big away support at Highbury our fans always respond in kind, they get behind the team.

“That should all add up to a cracking atmosphere.

“But as players and staff we have to concentrate on what happens on the pitch.”

Chesterfield were among League Two’s big spenders in the summer, attracting a number of signings, including former Blackpool man Ian Evatt.

The club were also heavily rumoured to have wanted the services of Ryan Cresswell, the big centre half eventually ending up under Alexander’s command at Fleetwood.

Fleetwood’s boss isn’t certain financial clout necessarily equates to a successful side.

He said: “I’ve been at clubs where we didn’t have money and I was confident of getting results.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many fans you have, how much money you have in the bank.

“It’s 11 men against 11, that’s what football’s all about.

“We don’t look at what they’ve spent or anything else.

“It’s the beauty of football, it’s two teams, one football, that’s it.

“It’s a team game, not about individuals.”

At Fleetwood the whole team have proved they have a part to play, Alexander making six changes in midweek and giving himself another selection headache ahead of tomorrow’s big game.

Up front, Jamille Matt, Jon Parkin and David Ball have five goals between them from the last two fixtures.

At the back there’s competition between Mark Roberts, Nathan Pond and Cresswell for the centre half positions, full backs Liam Hogan, Conor McLaughlin and Dean Howell fighting for a place.

Alexander wouldn’t have it any other way.

He said: “Every one of our players has started a game in the last two and played a good chunk of it,

“That’s how I want it for the rest of the season. We need to keep up the levels of commitment

“We believe in every player to come in and do a job.

“In the previous two games everyone has made their case to be involved in this one.”