Alexander rues missed chances

Jamille Matt and Gary Jones
Jamille Matt and Gary Jones
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FLEETWOOD boss Graham Alexander refused to be content with his side’s four point haul from back-to-back home games, writes ROB STOCKS.

Fleetwood surrendered a lead to Bradford City on Saturday but battled back to draw 2-2, Jon Parkin’s penalty ensuring a share of the spoils.

But Alexander insisted Town had been good enough to beat the Bantams – and would have done comfortably had they taken their first half chances.

He said: “Our home for hasn’t been great over the season so to get four points out of a possible six, against Bradford, who are in a major cup final and Oxford, the form team of the whole division.

“I want to say you’ve got to be pleased but I’m not because I wanted all six and I think we’ve done enough to deserve that.”

Alexander was left to rue missed chances – Fleetwood squandering a number of good opportunities to double their lead before Bradford levelled just before the break.

“I might be biased but I thought we did enough to be leading by more than one goal,” said the Fleetwood boss. “In the first half if we had been a bit more clinical and got a break and gone two or more up I don’t think Bradford would have come back into it.

“We didn’t. We were 1-0 up. They scored a very good free kick but we were disappointed at how it got to that stage. They scored just before half time which put them on an even keel. Then we gave a poor second goal away. It was our own fault.

“I think we shot ourselves in the foot twice but we showed a good response to come back. But over the 90 minutes I’m disappointed with just a point.”

But Alexander insists there are clear signs of improvement in his side, who sit ninth in League Two – just four points off an automatic promotion spot.

He said: “The biggest positive was the response. When you’ve been 1-0 up and go down to 2-1 the momentum is with the team that’s taken the lead.

“I thought we turned that momentum round and carried on believing we could get something out of the game. But all in all, looking at the 90 minutes and how we started and the opportunities we got into I’m disappointed with a draw.”

Town could have snatched victory deep into injury time, Ryan Crowther blasting over after a superb pass from Paul McKenna. “We could have won it at the end,” said Alexander. “It was a great ball from Paul McKenna, just over the top of the left back. I really expected Ryan to hit the target because of the quality we know he’s got.

“But as long as he’s in there to miss it, we can see it was a great run for him.

“His opportunities will come and I’m sure he’ll take them.”

Gareth Evans and Shaun Beeley both limped out of the Bradford clash but Alexander refused to be downbeat about the loss of two key players – insisting it would give a chance for others to shine.

“It’s disappointing because Gareth was playing very well,” he said.

“I think he’s done it going off the end of the pitch which is a tough one to take.

“Beels did his defending a free kick, so you’re going to get that as a defender. It was a great piece of defending and he’s unlucky.

“It gives someone a chance, maybe, next week to come in and stake a claim for a place in the team. Beels desperately wanted to stay on.

“The players know there’s competition for places and if you drop out for any reason there’s someone waiting to take your place.

“We’ll just have to wait and see but whatever’s the case we’ll put out a competitive team to face Torquay.”

The manager is yet to find out the extent of either injury – but remains hopeful.

He said: “I know they are sore, but things can change in 24 hours so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Jon Parkin continued his return from injury with another second half substitute appearance and another goal.

“I just thought we weren’t holding the ball up enough for the team,” said Alexander.

“It was breaking down a lot. Jamie and Jamille worked their socks off but the Bradford centre halves were very strong.

“The quality we were playing up to them wasn’t the quality we’d expect.

“I just thought Parky would hold the ball up for us and help us create opportunities in the final third instead of being stuck around the half way line.

“You know what you’re going to get from Parky – you get the ball into his feet and he’ll do the business.

“He knows the game and I think he deserved his goal, just as he did last week. Hopefully there’s more to come from him.”

With his transfer dealings done, Alexander laid down the gauntlet for his Fleetwood squad.

He said: “The real quality will come but I want us first and foremost to be a competitive side.

“You want to make it so even when you don’t play well you can pick up points and not make it easy for your opponents. “I think we can add a bit of composure and guile here and there, with the players we’ve got.

“I’m not looking to bring anybody else in. What happens now is going to come through the players we have at the club. We need to create more from the opportunities we create.”