Glanford has glamour for grateful Grezza

Manager Graham Alexander
Manager Graham Alexander
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Scunthorpe is rarely a place that stirs the emotions, but it had special significance for Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander as he scanned the newly-published fixture-list for 2013-14.

Scunthorpe is rarely a place that stirs the emotions, but it had special significance for Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander as he scanned the newly-published fixture-list for 2013-14.

Alexander said of the League Two clash on January 28: “I have fond memories of Scunthorpe – my career kicked off at Glanford Park and I owe them a lot.

“However, come the day of the games, I will be putting personal issues aside and only focusing on three points.”

Town start their second Football League campaign at home to relegation favourites Dagenham and Redbridge on August 3 and Alexander said: “It’s good for the supporters to get an early chance to see the team and the new faces we have brought in.”

There are two Lancashire derbies to look forward to over Christmas, with the Cod Army travelling to the Globe Arena to face Morecambe on Boxing Day and welcoming Accrington Stanley to Highbury on New Year’s Day.

The Fleetwood boss said: “I’m delighted to have the two Lancashire derby games on the big Christmas dates. Morecambe is a massive fixture and there should be a great turn-out on Boxing Day.”

The long-awaited matches against Portsmouth, a Premier League side as recently as 2010, see Town travel to Fratton Park on September 21, with Pompey coming to Highbury for the return on March 15.

The Fleetwood boss reflected: “Portsmouth are the biggest club in the division this year and it’s not long ago that they won the FA Cup.

“The chance to play games like these gives all clubs hope.”

The last two fixtures are against sides in the mix last season, Southend at home on April 26 followed by a trip to Chesterfield nine months to the day after the season kicked off.

Alexander said: “You would expect two sides of their quality to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season but we will deal with those challenges when we get there. There’s a lot of football to be played before then!”

The changes to the fixtures have started already, with Town’s Easter visit to Cheltenham brought forward 24 hours to Good Friday.

The Fleetwood players report for fitness training tomorrow. Alexander said: “I’m excited about getting going again. We’ll be able to gauge how the lads have looked after themselves over the summer and I know from my playing days how exciting it is to meet up again and meet some new faces.”

Bookmakers have reacted to the announcement of the fixture list by posting their prices for the League Two campaign. And Fleetwood are second only to Portsmouth in the William Hill market to win the division outright.

- They bet: 4/1 Portsmouth 7/1 Fleetwood 9/1 Chesterfield 11/1 Bristol Rovers 12/1 Scunthorpe 14/1 Oxford 16/1 Cheltenham 16/1 Mansfield 16/1 Northampton 20/1 Burton 20/1 Hartlepool 20/1 Rochdale 25/1 Exeter 25/1 Plymouth 25/1, Southend 25/1 Wycombe 25/1 York 33/1 Newport 40/1 Bury 50/1 Torquay 50/1 Wimbledon 66/1 Accrington 66/1 Dag & Red 66/1 Morecambe.

- Odds for promotion: 5/6 Portsmouth 11/8 Fleetwood 7/4 Chesterfield 5/2 Bristol Rovers 3/1 Scunthorpe 4/1 Oxford 9/2 Cheltenham 9/2 Mansfield 5/1 Burton 5/1 Hartlepool 5/1 Northampton 11/2 Rochdale 6/1 Exeter 6/1 Plymouth 6/1 Wycombe 6/1 York 7/1 Southend 8/1 Newport 10/1 Bury 12/1 Torquay 12/1 Wimbledon 20/1 Accrington 20/1 Dag and Red 20/1 Morecambe.

- Fleetwood are one of the outsiders to go out of the League with the William Hill organisation.

.Relegation odds: 7/2 Dag and Red 4/1 Accrington 4/1 Bury 4/1 Morecambe 5/1 Wimbledon 11/2 Newport 6/1 Torquay 9/1 Plymouth 9/1 Wycombe 9/1 York 10/1 Southend 12/1 Exeter 14/1 Burton 14/1 Hartlepool 14/1 Mansfield 14/1 Rochdale, 16/1 Oxford 20/1 Cheltenham 25/1 Bristol Rovers 25/1 Northampton 25/1 Scunthorpe 40/1 Chesterfield 50/1 Fleetwood 50/1 Portsmouth.