Pilley backs Alexander to take Town forward

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander.
Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley insists it is too early to judge manager Graham Alexander and is backing his man to lead the club’s second Football League campaign.

Town have suffered inconsistent form since Alexander’s arrival in December, but the chairman still believes the best is yet to come from his rookie manager.

He said: “I do think there’s plenty to come from Graham Alexander. He’s got a lot to offer.

“I think he has learned a lot since he was appointed.

“I think he was carrying more players than he would have liked and he’s now going to get the chance to bring his own players in.

“When you get that chance it’s up to you to make the impact that’s required and be a real force next season.”

Alexander now has the summer to build his own squad at Fleetwood. Work on that project is already under way, with the manager expected to inform the players next week who will be kept on at Highbury.

Pilley hopes fans will reserve judgment on Alexander until after that rebuilding work is completed.

“I think a manager can only be judged once he has got his own players,” said Pilley.

“Graham will have his own players eventually. It just takes a little time.

“He’s inherited a squad which Micky put together.

“Micky had his own ideas on football and how it should be played.

“Graham Alexander has his own ideas too and those ideas are never going to be the same.

“Graham should be judged when he’s got his own team together and he’s put them out on that pitch. We’ll see how we get on.”

Despite his confidence in Alexander, the Town chairman admitted it was disappointing to have ended the season in the bottom half of the table – defeat at AFC Wimbledon on the last day leaving Fleetwood in 13th spot.

He said: “I think we’re disappointed to finish in the bottom half.

“Everybody knows in football that we’re an ambitious club and we would have liked to have finished further up the table than we did.

“Thankfully we weren’t involved in the relegation scrap.

“We’ve learned an awful lot about our own players and the division, and it will be our intention to take that knowledge into next season and to improve the squad no end.”

Town won’t have money to burn as they begin the process of improving that squad, Pilley recognising the need to stick to strict Football League spending rules.

“Of course I’ll be backing the manager for next season,” said the chairman.

“There’s got to be wheeling and dealing.

“We’re subject to financial fair play, like any club.

“We are constantly looking at boosting the revenue streams.

“We’ve got the new office and lots of corporate activity going on behind the scenes constantly.

“We will give Graham as much in terms of funds as we can. The key is spending it wisely.

“It’s not the case that whoever has the most money will be top of the league.”

“You’ve got to spend it wisely and bring in players who buy into the styles and methods of training your manager believes in.”