System not to blame says Grezza

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander
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Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander will rethink the way he sets his team out ahead of this weekend’s clash with Port Vale, but he insists formations weren’t the cause of 
Saturday’s woeful display at Wigan.

Town were inexcusably poor for the first hour at the DW Stadium – the Latics two goals to the good before Tyler Forbes kick-started a forlorn fightback.

Town looked particularly weak in wide areas, Michael Jacobs in particular able to exploit the space left behind their wing-backs.

The visitors looked a great deal more solid after switching to a flat back four.

Alexander admits that gives him food for thought ahead of the Valiants’ visit but insists there was far more to Saturday’s no-show.

“We seemed to be confused about what was expected of ourselves,” he said. “I don’t know how – we’ve played it enough times.”

He insists the switch to a four-man defence was not an acknowledgment that the wing-back system was not working

“It was just that we had to change things,” said Alexander. “We wanted to bring on players who could make an impact.

“It was just a case of looking at the players we were left with and what was best for them.

“We pick formations because of the players we want to pick and finding a formation to suit them.

“We’ll look again, analyse it properly and see if that’s something we will have to go forward with.

“But what we do want to pick are players who are ready to play now – players who want to compete and who are ready to get picked again and compete again, not be flashes in the pan.”

Alexander may be forced to rethink his selection for the weekend but is expected to be missing three key figures at the back– Danny Andrew and Conor McLaughlin, both sidelined with hamstring problems, and Nathan Pond, who is still recovering from an ankle injury.

The Fleetwood boss made it clear that whatever he chooses to do on Saturday a change of shape alone will not turn around Fleetwood’s fortunes.

“Whatever formation you play you have to run, you have to tackle, you have to pass. It’s all the same fundamentals.

“When we’ve won games I’ve not put it down to the system. It’s been down to us passing, running hard, getting into the right areas and doing things for each other.

“But it’s the same however we play. People think formations win games but that is a fallacy.

“It’s about what players do in those games and we didn’t do enough on Saturday to win the game.”