Town ready to build on first point

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

FLEETWOOD Town boss Graham Alexander insists his team are ready to build on their first point under his command when they travel to league leaders Gillingham tomorrow.

Alexander has had a frustrating first week in charge at Highbury, losing one training session to the frosty weather, but believes his charges are still well prepared for a tricky away trip.

He said: “They are a good side.

“They are top of the league and rightfully so.

“They have a very experienced manager and we know we have to be at our best.

“We know we have to go there and compete.

“We want to build on the result on Saturday.

“There were a lot of positives to take from the game.

“Playing the top scorers away from home we knew we were going to have to withstand a lot of pressure.

“But we did that. I’ve had a good look back at the match and there’s a lot I’m pleased about.”

The former Preston and Burnley defender made a number of changes in his first game in charge at Highbury and said he was ready to ‘wipe the slate clean’ when it comes to selection.

He said: “I’ve taken home a lot of the DVDs from this season and I started watching them but then I stopped.

“I though I needed to start with a clean slate because you don’t know the story behind what you see on the pitch.”

Alexander took in a reserves game in midweek, where he saw Alex Titchiner and Tom Barkhuizen score in a 2-1 victory over Morecambe.

He said: “I brought Alex on on Saturday and he put in a good run.

“He was impressive in midweek for the reserves and scored a good goal.

“It just gives you extra options and extra things to think about.”

Another boost for the Town boss is the return to training of Anthony Barry, who completed two sessions this week.

He said: “He’s come back to training with so much enthusiasm, we’re having to hold him back a little.

“But that’s the same for everyone.

“They have all looked so keen to impress and it’s great having that in the team.

“The desire and hunger really seems to be infectious.”

Like Barry, striker Jon Parkin is well on the road to recovery, but Alexander insisted he was taking no risks.

He said: “Parky is getting there but we’re not going to push him.

“I don’t want to take any risks.

“I want to make sure we have the right levels of fitness in the squad.

“So we’ll see what we have before we go down to Gillingham.

“But I’ll certainly be putting together a team I believe can compete.”

A longer-term project is the transformation of the club to fit in with Alexander’s vision.

He said: “I only had one hour of input before the game last week.

“I’ve had three sessions this week, which still isn’t a lot of time.

“It’s going to be a more long-term work to get things the way I’d like, but we’ll keep making progress -– starting at Gillingham tomorrow.