Fleetwood boss Alexander has options for Crawley Clash

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander is happy to have big decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s visit of Crawley Town.

The return from injury of Nathan Pond and David Ball, as well as the loan capture of Liam McAlinden from Wolves, means Alexander has options up front and at the back as he looks to end a near three-month run without a victory on home turf.

Town went unbeaten at Highbury in nine months but have now lost two of their last three – their last home win coming on November 1 against Gillingham.

Alexander insists the return of Pond and Ball is no headache and he relishes having options in almost every position.

The Town boss said: “Having Pondy and David Ball back from injury and bringing Liam (McAlinden) in from Wolves gives us extra strength in the squad, and in the long run that can only help us get better.”

Ball’s return, several weeks ahead of schedule, is a massive boost for the Fleetwood 
manager, the striker getting almost 20 minutes under his belt in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Oldham.

There were no signs that a broken leg had kept Ball sidelined for nearly three months, having sustained the injury at MK Dons.

Alexander admits it was touch and go whether he would be ready in time but hopes game-time can speed the striker’s recovery.

He said: “He has come back very quickly and he started training on the Monday before the game.

“He wasn’t training fully but he was by the end of the week. It was a decision for us to make.

“I spoke to Bally about it after training on the Friday because I didn’t want to push him too far too soon.

“But we were only thinking of bringing him on for 15 minutes or so at the end, which we did.

“We knew a lad of that fitness level would be pretty much up and running.

“He still needs training and game-time to get back to his best but it’s a big boost for us right now.”