Fleetwood Town keeper aims to beat clean sheet target
Alex Cairns has been hitting his targets since reclaiming his place in Fleetwood Town’s starting XI.
Barring a handful of appearances earlier in the season, the keeper was cast aside by former boss Joey Barton after the arrivals of Joel Coleman and Jayson Leutwiler.
However, after Barton’s exit at the start of the year, the 28-year-old was restored to the starting line-up by caretaker boss Simon Wiles.
He has since remained first choice under Simon Grayson, signing a new two-year deal in the process.
Cairns said: “I set myself a goal when I got back into the team.
“I spoke to my brother about it. I said I wanted 10 clean sheets, minimum, before the end of the season.
“I’ve got my 10 clean sheets this season, which I’m very happy about, but he challenged me to break the 10.
“I’ve still got two games to go to do that and the minimum I want is two clean sheets.
“If not, I want two wins. That’s what I want out of myself and out of the team.
“It’s been nice keeping clean sheets, making saves and being a presence on the pitch.
“Clean sheets aren’t just for me, they’re for the whole team and the whole team breeds confidence with clean sheets.”
Town have one of the best defensive records in the league, despite conceding five at Burton Albion in midweek.
Cairns feels that provides a platform to build upon with greater goalscoring the next aim.
He said: “All big teams and all good teams that are challenging have good defensive records.
“If we’d have had a full season to work on it, then who knows?
“As a team, it’s not just the strikers that have to pluck something out of nothing, it’s the whole team doing both sides.
“We’ve got one side of things right at the back end of this season, going into next season we’d probably be looking to add some more goals to the tally.
“I never will get on at the forwards, because at the end of the day it’s the hardest thing in football scoring a goal. They work hard every day in training.
“It’s been a bit of a mad year anyway. We’ve lost Paddy (Madden) and Ched (Evans) who were our two main strikers, and to be fair to Ged Garner and Kyle Vassell, they have come in and done the business.
“They’ve come into a team that’s been a bit disrupted over January and they’ve dug straight in and grafted.
“Everyone has played their part this year and it’s given us something to look forward to for next year.”
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