Alexan­der hop­ing to get bet­ter af­ter win

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Oliver Rhodes

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.”

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