No Town table talk

Barry Nicholson for Fleetwood
Barry Nicholson for Fleetwood
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GRAHAM Alexander insists he is paying no attention to the League Two table as Fleetwood Town look to continue their late play-off push.

Town travel to Southend United today for a crucial lunchtime clash between the two teams just outside the top seven.

Alexander’s men are buoyed by Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with leaders Gillingham and stand four points outside the play-off zone.

But even with only five games left, the Fleetwood boss says he isn’t concerned with the numbers, just with his own side’s performance.

Alexander said: “We have to win as many games as possible.

“The Gillingham result changes nothing – even if we had won, it changes nothing.

“It’s a waste of time looking at the league. There’s teams on different points with different games played. It means nothing.

“We’ve got to play Southend, Rotherham and Chesterfield, all teams around us.

“There are going to be changes but we just have to concentrate on what we’re doing. There’s no point thinking about a game in three weeks when you’ve got a tough one in two days.”

Alexander was delighted with the spirit shown against a determined Gills side, who have shipped just 14 goals on the road this season.

He said: “We’d have loved the three points but we shot ourselves in the foot after less than three minutes and put ourselves in a difficult position.

“But the response from the team was great, coming back into it once and then twice. We obviously wanted the three points and second half I think we got among them and could have got it.

“The first half was bitty, not good or aggressive enough defensively, which you have to be against most opponents in this division, but especially against the league leaders who have a real physical presence. We were massively disappointed but second half the players responded to the message and showed what good defenders you are.

“If you have that right commitment and mentality, I think you can keep a team like Gillingham at arm’s length and we created opportunities.

“The general mentality was to try to win a game and that was pleasing to see.

Town have battled back to earn four points in the last two games – their fighting spirit clear, having been absent in the defeats at Barnet and Plymouth

Alexander said: “We were 1-0 down last week too and it’s rare at this level teams go behind and pick up points. We see that in the stats, so it’s pleasing.

“I’d rather not do it, – I’d rather we took the lead and won. But at least that mentality is there. We need that every single game. We needed it against the teams we’ve been beaten by recently, which is the biggest disappointment to me.

“I don’t think Gillingham were a better team than us. They are just a more consistent team than us. We’ve played Port Vale and Gillingham and gone toe to toe with them. We’ve struggled against teams not at the top end and that’s something we have to address as a squad.

“There’s a mood of disappointment that we haven’t beaten Gillingham and that’s good to see. It’s good to know they were disappointed with just a point.”

Alexander was especially pleased to see record-signing frontman Jamille Matt scoring both goals in his best display yet for Fleetwood.

Alexander said: “We threw him straight in when he got here and realised he was not up to the physical standards we require and League Two demands.

“He took that on board and we gave him a period out of the team. He’s gone and worked, often putting the time in after training sessions on the physical side. And it shows in his game. It’s not about throwing people about. It’s about looking after the ball against two centre-halves and being battered from pillar to post.

“I thought he took the game to them, caused them all sorts of problems and deserved his two goals. All the players are chuffed for him because he’s a great lad.”