Alexander has proved he was worth every penny
BURNLEY chairman Barry Kilby was perplexed when he was asked to pay £200,000 for a 36-year-old right back who was struggling to get out of Preston’s reserves.
One hundred games later, the transfer of Graham Alexander represents one of the best deals in the club’s history. Now 38, he marked his 900th career game with two goals on Saturday to clinch a 2-0 win over Hull.
In a climate of football party animals and convicts, the Coventry-born Scotland international continues to be a welcome beacon of respectability but remains shy of his achievement.
“I’m just happy to be playing every week,” he said. “I work hard to stay in the team and hopefully I’ll do enough for the manager to pick me. That’s all I’m bothered about. You’ve got to enjoy football, no matter what it throws at you and scoring goals is one of the most pleasurable things.
“There is no better place to play your foot- ball than the Premier League. Every one of us has worked hard for it and we deserve our shot at it.”
A routine of proper diet, good sleep and the obligatory ice bath have helped Alexander endure. He has also benefited from his conversion to defensive midfield – a move suggested by Burnley’s former manager, Steve Cotterill.
“He was taken aback when I first told him where I wanted him to play,” said Cotterill. “But I knew his reading of the game would help us and, let’s be honest, playing full back at 36 exposes you to too many flighty wingers.
“I remember he came off with cramp after 70 minutes of his debut against Colchester and he was embarrassed. But I had every confidence in him. He’s a fantastic guy who looks after himself and commands respect from the rest of the players.” – Daily Mail