Save a strike for Sunday, Sarcevic

Town manager Graham Alexander
Town manager Graham Alexander
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Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is hoping Saturday’s superstar Antoni Sarcevic has saved a goal for Sunday.

The midfielder could easily have bagged a hat-trick in Town’s 1-0 win over Crawley Town last weekend, hitting the woodwork and forcing a number of big saves from keeper Lewis Price.

In the end his free kick was enough to take Fleetwood into the play-off places - a position they are unlikely to still hold when they kick off against Bristol City at Ashton Gate at 3pm on Sunday, 24 hours later than the rest of League One.

And Alexander is hoping to see a similar display against the second-placed Robins, who were in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action last night.

“I thought Antoni Sarcevic was superb on Saturday,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of good lads who can push on from the midfield.

“But when he’s on his game, like he was on Saturday, he’s great to watch.

“On another day he could have had a hat-trick.

“But hopefully he’s saved one for Bristol City.”

Alexander spent the early part of the season complaining he hadn’t seen enough goals from midfield.

Now the roles are reversed with Fleetwood’s forwards firing blanks.

Liam McAlinden has been brought back into the side, on a second loan spell from Wolves, in a bid to jump-start the Town attack.

And Alexander believes if his forward line can start finding the target again, Fleetwood are capable of improving their standing.

He said: “We brought Liam in for a reason, to give us a different option to what we’ve got.

“You can see he makes clever runs, he gets in behind and he carries a goal threat.

“He’s been here before and scored a few goals and we think he’ll score a few more between now and the end of the season.

“What we feel is that we’ve got four strikers in David Ball, Jamie Proctor, Liam McAlinden and Stephen Dobbie.

“They’re all of a different variety and they’ll all play games between now and the end of the season.

“They’ll have to compete and support each other because we all want success.

“If we can just get them on the scoring charts we’ll prove we’re a better team than we’re looking at the moment.”

Steve Cotterill’s second-placed Robins have had a busy week, facing West Ham live on TV on Sunday in the FA Cup, followed by another televised game last night against Gillingham.

Alexander knows Sunday’s opponents, managed by Cotterill, – his former boss at Burnley – won’t be a pushover but believes Fleetwood’s recent away form is cause to believe they can return north with points.

He said: “It’ll be a tough test, they are a very good team.

“They are up at the top end for a reason. They have a lot of power, a lot of strength.

“But we’ve picked up our away results lately.

“Wins at Leyton Orient and Rochdale are hard to come by.

“We’ve shown our quality in those games and we need to go down to Ashton Gate and show them again.”