Alexander hoping to get better after win
FLEETWOOD Town boss Graham Alexander isn’t looking too far ahead, despite the promotion candidates beating Dagenham and Redbridge in their season opener.
The Cod Army fielded seven debutants and three of the new boys, Mark Roberts, Jeff Hughes and Ryan Cresswell, struck while Rhys Murphy scored for Dagenham.
Although Alexander was pleased with the win, the Preston North End legend insisted his team still needs more experience to build up a rapport.
“It is a step forward, but we are a long way from where we want to be,” he said.
“It is a long season and we are not going to get carried away.
“Whatever the result, we would’ve kept our focus on what we believe will be successful over the course of the season.
“But the signs of pre-season have been good and the players are progressing.
“Regardless of the result, we are a young team in terms of playing time together.
“I thought we played well, but there is room for improvement.
“I will probably always feel like that, but we have to be pleased with the two new centre-backs scoring.
“That is the bonus of bringing in players like that.”
Fleetwood made a blistering start to the new campaign, as captain Roberts powerfully headed home Ryan Crowther’s corner in the sixth minute.
The buoyant Cod Army quickly doubled their lead through Hughes, who drilled his shot beyond goalkeeper Chris Lewington from outside the box.
Dagenham responded in the 26th minute after Medy Elito beat the offside trap and Murphy finished off his cross-cum-shot.
However, the hosts restored their two-goal deficit before the hourmark with Cresswell emulating Roberts by thumping a corner-kick delivery into the net.
Afterwards, Dagenham manager Wayne Burnett revealed his frustration with the set-piece concessions.
“I said to the players you can be the best team for 89 minutes and 55 seconds, but if you don’t mark in the box you concede goals,” he added.
“I quite clearly outlined before the game, which person the players were marking and picking up but they don’t do their jobs.
“We went two-nil down and we hadn’t really got out of the blocks in the first 15 minutes.
“We then started to play and create a few chances.
“I thought if we started brightly in the second half, we could’ve got back into the game.
“But it did not materialise and they scored from another set-piece.
“I know it is a cliché, but goals definitely do change games.”