Fleetwood Town chairman backs Alexander to take club forward

Fleetwood Town's manager Graham Alexander
Fleetwood Town's manager Graham Alexander

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley insists he’ll stick by manager Graham Alexander – even if the club misses out on promotion to League One.

Alexander, in his first full season at the Highbury helm, has steered Town to fourth spot with four games remaining.

Fleetwood are currently five points behind third-placed Chesterfield, who they play on the last day of the campaign.

And Pilley believes there’s plenty more to come from his man, who he is tipping for the top.

“I like Graham very much and I certainly don’t want to part company with him,” Pilley told The Gazette.

“The day he leaves here is likely to be when we get a phone call from a Championship or Premier League club asking to come and take him.

“That’s because I think he’s got the potential to be a top, top manager and I think that will be the way he goes.”

Alexander took over from Micky Mellon in December 2012, guiding Fleetwood to an eventual 13th placed finish.

He oversaw a major rebuilding of the squad last summer, bringing in the likes of Ryan Cresswell, Jeff Hughes, Mark Roberts and Steven Schumacher.

And the work done by the former Burnley and Preston defender hasn’t gone unnoticed in the boardroom

“I’ve been very impressed with Graham,” said Pilley.

“I’m in a very privileged position in that I know Graham a lot better than the average man on the terraces does.

“I know what goes on behind the scenes, how good his attention to detail is, how professional he is.

“I know the hours he puts in.

“I’m delighted to have him as our manager.

“I do think he’ll take this club to very good things and will go on to have an excellent career as a manager.”

Not that the chairman thinks his manager is yet the finished article.

He knows the last two years, since Fleetwood won the Conference title, have been a rollercoaster ride and an educational experience for all at Highbury.

Speaking of Alexander, Pilley said: “He’d be the first to say he’s learning all the time.

“But we all are, including myself.

“We’re in a pleasant position, tucked in behind the top three but we’re in great form.”

And the chairman revealed how Football League status has boosted the club in unexpected ways.

“It’s opened a lot of doors contact-wise,” he explained.

“We’re able to bring in players now from Championship and Premier League clubs.

“The non-league has a stigma, it’s not so easy to bring players of that quality in.

“Hopefully our reputation as a football club is building and people will see us as a good club which will look after and develop their players.”

Town, who came back from behind to draw 2-2 with local rivals Morecambe on Saturday continue their 
promotion push at Cheltenham Town on Friday before facing Wycombe Wanderers at Highbury on Easter Monday.