ANT GETS COD FRYING AGAIN
FLEETWOOD Town boss Graham Alexander insists his side’s battling performance against Sheffield United should provide his players with all the belief they need after a draw brought a luckless run to an end.
Antoni Sarcevic’s second-half header halted Fleetwood’s unwanted recent run of three narrow losses to earn the Cod Army their first point since they beat Gillingham at the start of November.
A marked second-half improvement was just what Alexander had ordered and almost saw the hosts take all three points if not for a lack of composure in front of goal.
And Alexander believes with a little more luck his side can begin finishing on the right side of results.
“I thought we reacted well to the goal and could have got an equaliser before half-time but probably didn’t force it enough,” he said.
“But we did that in the second half, we played on the front foot, had loads of energy and movement and caused Sheffield United more problems.
“When the goal came along it was thoroughly deserved. We worked the ball well into that area for Josh [Morris] to cross, we’ve been asking him for a bit more composure from our crosses and that is exactly how he put the ball in.
“We’re happy with a point, we would have loved three but it’s a good result against a very good club. We believe in this group of players so much and I do believe there have been results go against us this season when we haven’t deserved them but you have to keep believing in what you do.”
The Blades began brighter and after Chris Maxwell had denied Jamie Murphy after just five minutes, they took a deserved lead three minutes later as Bob Harris finished from Jose Baxter’s pass.
Jamie Proctor had Fleetwood’s best chances in the first-half but failed to test Mark Howard as the hosts went into the break behind.
Sarcevic’s looping header, from a Morris cross, eight minutes after the restart galvanized the home side and Proctor again squandered a chance, shooting wide on 65 minutes.
Chris O’Grady and Sarcevic both had chances to win it but Blades boss Nigel Clough admitted that the draw was a positive result.
“It is a good point away from home,” he said. “I thought it was quite an even game, chances at both sides and in the last ten minutes both teams tried to win it.
“We are trying to work out ways to be more positive so we sacrificed the width and went a bit more direct to the front two.
“Whatever formation, we encourage our full-backs to get forward, and Bob [Harris] doesn’t kick it many times with his right let alone score many so it was a lovely strike.
“We challenged him a bit and said you should be getting five to ten goals a season the way we play so it’s lovely he got another one.
“We’re top six and we’ll be challenging for the top two if we can, but our main aim is to be in the top six.”