Town boss looks to masters

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander
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NEW Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander can draw on the experience of working under some of the top names in the game as he begins his management career.

The 41-year-old takes charge of Town for the first time today, when his new side take on Southend United.

And he believes working under managers such as Billy Davies, Owen Coyle and David Moyes will stand him in good stead.

He said:”You take your influences from various managers.

“Not just managers, but coaches and people that you meet.

“So much of it is about man management and that’s not just in football but in every business.

“I’ve played under some fantastic managers, but the big one for me was David Moyes.

“He helped turn my career around. He showed me what it took to be a true professional.”

And Alexander, appointed on a 12 month rolling contract, insisted fans should not judge him on his first days or weeks in the job, but look to the long term.

“I’ve never really gone into a club as a player and made an amazing impact.” he said.

“I’m not that sort of person.

“I’m going to give every last drop of energy, concentration and focus on Fleetwood.

“I want to be successful – it’s something I chase every day of my life and hopefully I can fulfill all the dreams and ambitions of every Fleetwood fan.

“They want success, I do, the chairman does, and hopefully we can do that all together.”

And he’s hoping his legendary fitness, which helped him play a remarkable 1,024 professional games, will play a part in future success for the Highbury club.

He said: “Everyone knows I’ve taken my fitness seriously over the years.

“It’s a big part of the game. But not the only part.

“You’ve got to look at tactics and how you motivate players and every aspect of the club.

“But I’m sure we’ll be working hard on fitness as part of that and hopefully it will pay off.”

Alexander admitted he’d been thinking for some time about making a move into management – having hung up his boots in April to become head of youth development at Deepdale.

He said: “I’ve not always thought about being a manager.

“As a young player you always just think about the next game, you don’t look a long way into the future.

“But you get into your thirties, if you’re that way inclined, you start thinking about the tactics, the way you are playing and you look at what the manager is doing.

“If you start to take an interest in it yourself you start doing you coaching badges, you start getting a little bit of an itch you want to scratch.

“I wanted to get the most out of my playing career.

“You only get one shot at it and I wanted to get every last drop out of it that I could, once you stop there’s no going back. But then you want to move onto the next stage.”

And the former Preston North End and Burnley defender, who won 40 caps for Scotland, insisted the decision to join Fleetwood wasn’t one he had taken lightly.

“Anything you go into fresh and new you have your doubts and concerns,” he said.

“You think them through, look at the positives and how you’re going to attack it and then you go with it

“If you go into something without being slighly worried or concerned, you go into it with your eyes only half open and you’re going to make mistakes.

“I know I’m coming to a club that’s been successful in its recent history and I’m here to continue that.

“That’s what has been driving me since I was 16 years old and that’s why I have been so successful.”

And, despite having former Deepdale team-mates Conor McLaughlin, Barry Nicholson and Youl Mawene among the playing staff, Alexander, left, insisted everyone would be given their chance to impress under the new regime.

He said: “There’s a couple of lads in there I know.

“But I have to go in with my eyes wide open and make my own opinions.

“I’ll not have any pre-conceived ideas.

“Everyone will get a chance to prove themselves.”