GRAHAM Alexander admitted he’d told his Fleetwood player a few home truth’s after they slumped to defeat against strugglers Bristol Rovers, writes ROB STOCKS.
Town were two goals down inside half an hour, shipping a third just after the break and creating precious little themselves.
And Alexander had some tough questions of his charges.
He said: “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t let them know how I feel.
“It’s not a case of ranting and raving and screaming.
“It’s just a case of a few home truths because you can’t expect to come out against anybody, not even an under-10s team and not think you have to compete.
“If you want to be a professional there are certain levels of commitment to you job and we didn’t see enough of that today.
“There were a few exceptions but not enough for a good team performance.”
Danny Woodards fifth minute strike halted Town in their tracks, a blow from which Fleetwood never really recovered
“It went wrong virtually from the kick off,” said Alexander
“We didn’t get out, we didn’t get started.
“We conceded an early goal.
“We didn’t do the things we talk about, didn’t do the basics of any professional football game and basically Bristol Rovers came here, wanted it more than us and thoroughly deserved the three points.”
The manager said he had warned his players what to expect, despite Rovers’ lowly league placing.
“They didn’t look like a side bottom of the table.” he told The Gazette.
“We’ve been talking all week about the threat they pose, especially with the manager they have got.
“He’s vastly experienced and he’s going to turn out a very organised team who can break you down or keep you at bay.
“It’s massively disappointing because we just didn’t compete and part of being a professional is competitiveness and if you haven’t got that you haven’t got anything.
“It’s something we’re going to have to have a look at because we’re not asking players to do anything they haven’t done already.
“We’ve seen them be competitive at Gillingham and at Port Vale, against the top teams.
“To come to your own patch and not be competitive it’s a bit of a crime.”
And there was little the Fleetwood boss could find to be enthusiastic about.
Alexander said: “I didn’t think we played particularly well.
“We took too many touches, we didn’t pass the ball quick enough, we didn’t get the ball out wide enough and we didn’t have any linkage with the front two.
“Little fits and spurts that’s not enough to win a professional football game.
“It’s very hard to find a positive.”
There were plenty of comparisons with Saturday’s performance and the defeat seven days earlier at Northampton Town, a third goal in both games ending Town’s hopes of a second half comeback
“The third goal is one of those you get occasionally,” said Alexander.
“We had the exact same scenario last week, 2-0 down at half time and we talked about getting the next goal and we conceded after seven or eight minutes.
“This time the lad stamps one from 20 yards or whatever and it’s one of those where he’ll think it’s a great goal but we didn’t do well in the build up and after that we showed nothing that made me think we could get back into the game.”