ANT GETS COD FRY­ING AGAIN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Guy Clarke

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.”

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