Tough spell behind Town

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GRAHAM Alexander insists it is time for Fleetwood Town to put January troubles behind them as they prepare to face Oxford United tomorrow.

Back to back defeats to Northampton and Bristol Rovers, along with last week’s postponement at Barnet have put the brakes on Town’s play-off push, but the manager believes his side have what it takes to return to winning ways in front of a home crowd.

He said: “What has happened has happened. We’ll put those two games behind us now. We’ve learned our lessons and now it’s time to move on and get ready for what is going to be a tough game.”

Chris Wilder’s side are currently sitting in mid-table, having won their last four league fixtures, a fact which hasn’t escaped the attention of Fleetwood’s manager. Oxford have been on a good run recently,” said Alexander “We missed the game there because of the weather. But we know we’ll have to work hard, we’ll have to get out there and make sure we compete.

“The previous two games have been disappointing. We want to get out there and play our own game, not get sucked into something which isn’t going to suit us.”

Town have been training indoors for much of the week but returned to the Fylde coast yesterday for a morning’s training at Highbury followed by a game, against a Blackpool side at Squires Gate, in the afternoon.

Alexander said: “It hasn’t been perfect. But we’ve made the best of what we can. We went up to Highbury yesterday and trained on the pitch and played a game in the afternoon.

“I guess we’ll just see how it’s all worked out tomorrow. It’s been the same for everybody I suspect, not many people played last weekend and there will be plenty who have struggled with the weather. We’ve just got to make sure we’re as well prepared as we can be.”

Record signing Jamille Matt has had two weeks to bed in but Alexander admitted conditions hadn’t been perfect for the striker to settle in.

He said: “We’ve had two weeks where we’ve been doing different things but it’s only really yesterday we’ve been able to do a lot of positional work and pattern play to get Jamille used to the set up here.

“We don’t expect him to be hitting the ground running. We know we’ve got to give him time before he shows us he’s the player we all know he is going to be. We’re working hard with him, as we do with everyone, and he’s getting to know the club.”

Fleetwood have no new injury worries ahead of Saturday’s game and, despite Jon Parkin’s return to training, he is unlikely to figure. The Highbury pitch has held up well to the frosty conditions and Alexander has no concerns. He said: “We trained on the pitch yesterday and it’s in good shape.

“There’s maybe a little less grass than the groundsman would like, because the covers have been on. But all in all, it’s in good condition.”