GRAHAM Alexander shared a few home truths with his misfiring Fleetwood side, accusing them of not performing to a professional standard as they slumped to defeat at relegation-threatened Barnet, writes ROB STOCKS.
Alexander was in the dressing room with his squad for more than an hour following the final whistle at Underhill as he unpicked Town’s 2-0 reverse.
And the Fleetwood boss was frank in his assessment of the performance.
He said: “It’s impossible to stomach. It sticks in the throat because that wasn’t a performance of a professional standard.
“If you take the goals out of it, it wasn’t good enough anyway.
“The goals are really sloppy but before, after and in between we didn’t offer enough in the game.”
And the Fleetwood boss insisted the time for talking was over as Fleetwood’s play-off hopes suffered another massive blow.
“We’ve spoken some home truths,” said Alexander. “I’m an honest person. I’ll tell a player when he’s played well and when I think he’s slacking.
“I’ve told the players and they’ve said to each other that they should demand better. They have said they’ve let their standards slip.
“Hopefully, like I said to the boys, tonight was a massive reality check.
“Now we have to make sure we show people that we care about careers. Not just talk about it but show people.”
Alexander insisted a change of mentality was needed to spark life into the season.
Fleetwood have now won just one in eight, losing twice in four days to teams at the foot of the table
“We’re trying to find the reasons now,” said Alexander “I’ve got my thoughts. There are things going on. It’s a mentality thing.
“We’ve shown we can beat the best teams in this league – Port Vale away, we got to Gillingham and scored twice there. You have to do it on a consistent basis and we’ve shown we struggle against teams near the bottom, which tells me there’s a mentality problem.”
And the Fleetwood boss accused his players of letting down the club on a night Town simply failed to compete.
“Where does fight come from?” he asked. “It comes from the mind. That just sums it up. For me there wasn’t enough fight and I’ve told them.
“They’ve said the same to me, so they know. They’ve let Fleetwood Town down. Letting yourselves down as professionals is the worst thing you can do and they have done that tonight.”
Town gave away two sloppy goals, the second following a Keystone Kops collision between full-back Shaun Beeley and keeper Scott Davies.
For Alexander it was simply a case of lessons not being learned.
He said: “For the first we were playing in front of our own box, which we’ve talked about so many times, and we’ve been punished for in recent weeks. We did it again.
“The second is a miscommunication, which can happen. But even if you take the goals out of it, and it’s a 0-0, did we take part in the game to a professional standard? The answer is no.”
Town remain six points off the play-offs, with seven games remaining bit a major turnaround in form is needed to haul Alexander’s side back into contention. “It’s damaging, of course it is,” said Alexander. “Not long ago we were fourth in the table and looking to get in an automatic position.
“Do we all of a sudden think we’re a better team than we actually are? Regardless of play-offs, or anything else, we have seven games to show what we are about as a group of professionals, staff and players.”