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ALEXANDER: "MAINTAIN THAT EFFORT AND COMMITMENT"

16 August 2016

One long away game rolls onto another, with manager Graham Alexander and his side ready to battle for three more points at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The Iron faced a 268-mile round trip to Fleetwood on Saturday and once again hit the road for a 430-mile round trip for the Wombles encounter.

"It's another long trip but the players get looked after," he told The Iron PlayerHD.

"It's important we prepare right and we know we have a good group who want to prepare right and be ready to cross that white line and give it their best shot."

AFC Wimbledon come into the fixture on the back of three straight, but narrow, league and cup defeats, but the United gaffer labelled the results as "irrelevant" as he takes his side to Kingsmeadow.

"Any team that drops points wants to put it right in the very next game," he continued.

"We're only two league games into a very long season so I wouldn't look too far into early negative results. Their past results are irrelevant to us and we are going down there to play against a team that are fit, competitive and organised. They have some good players in their ranks.

"You have to reset all the buttons and get ready to go again."

The side are playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in their history following five seasons in League Two, with their exploits before then seeing them dramatically rise through the various tiers of non-league.

While Alexander admires the story from a football fan's perspective, both he, his staff and players are remaining fully focused on taking three points on Tuesday night.

"The story of AFC Wimbledon is a fantastic one for everyone in football," said Alexander.

"The emergence of when they started so many leagues below the EFL, to show that will power over the years. Everybody connected to that football club can be ever so proud that they're now in League One. That's for them to think and talk about, but as a football supporter you can do nothing but admire their spirit.

"We're going down there for three points and that's the only focus we've got. We will prepare right, focus on our game and produce the performance we need."

After missing the weekend's match against Fleetwood Town, the United boss gave an update on midfielder Jamie Ness.

The United manager confirmed that he will sit out once more: "He's got his calf injury.

"We will wait for that to settle down over the next 24-to-48-hours to make sure we get the right assessment, so he will be missing for Tuesday at least.

"Paddy (Madden) is in the same boat. As the players have shown so far, the team is strong, the unity is good and we have to make sure we maintain that."

Following a backing of nearly 500 at Fleetwood and another 250 expected to make the trip to Wimbledon, coupled with the beamback at Glanford Park, Alexander could do nothing but hail the bond between the supporters and the players.

"Saturday's support was superb," he stated.

"We needed that backing and the supporters played their part in that comeback. We have to maintain that support for the team, the team have to maintain the effort they put in for the supporters. It's great feeling and a great bond to have.

"It's not ideal that we're playing one long distance away game on both Saturday and Tuesday and we understand that it's a massive commitment for them to come down.

"We appreciate that support and even the people watching it here at Glanford Park for the beamback will be superb. Obviously we won't feel their presence but it's good to know there'll be a lot of people getting behind us and long may that continue."

See much more of an extended interview with Graham Alexander, along with goalkeeper Luke Daniels as they preview Tuesday's trip to AFC Wimbledon on The Iron PlayerHD.

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