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Alexander provides team news and more pre-Plymouth

25 August 2017

Manager Graham Alexander will be looking to take all three points from his side’s long trip to Plymouth Argyle at the weekend, but knows it will be a hard game.

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The hosts have got off to a good start to life in League One after promotion and Alexander is aware of that.

He spoke to iFollow Iron ahead of the fixture at Home Park, while also providing information on team news and transfer updates.

GA: I’m expecting a very difficult game. Plymouth are a good team. They’ve been on a crest of a wave since promotion and it’s always a difficult venue to visit, but we’re looking forward to it. We always look forward to the challenge of each opponent and the distance we have to travel now, the players are used to it. When we go to these away games I don’t think it’s ever really impinged on our performance in the past and I don’t see it doing that this weekend either. Every game is there to be won. We always look to try and win the game. I’m sure Plymouth will want to win the game as well, so that’s why I think it will be two good teams going against each other, but with a winning mentality, trying to take the three points. We want to build on our good start and I feel we’ve improved in each game.

"We want to build on our good start and I feel we’ve improved in each game."

Graham Alexander, manager

GA: I think most teams when they get promoted always have that winning mentality. If the squad or team doesn’t change that much, then you take that feeling into the next division. We know they’ve got several good players down there and that sort of team spirit can cause you problems. We never really look at the past of any club. We look at the qualities they have, any possible weaknesses they might have, and we go and concentrate on our own performance. We have a formula that suits the players and certainly suits me, and we take it into the next game.

GA: The players that played on Tuesday were recovering on Thursday out on the pitch with the rest of the boys. We had a good training session with the lads that didn’t play in miweek and we will try and get everyone in the same physical shape come Friday morning, so we can pick the right team. The players get looked after, they understand the professionalism that’s needed when you’re playing games and there are short recoveries. Everyone knows what it’s about playing every three days, and we have to approach each game accordingly. The importance of the players looking after themselves, regardless what we do with them, is paramount. If they don’t they get found out and we will know and the opposition will know. The players are very professional in their approach to everything.

GA: Kevin van Veen and Jordan Clarke are going to train, but it might be a bit too soon for them at the weekend and we'll just see how they are fitness-wise after Thursday. We never really take a massive gamble with players when we put them back into training. Kyle Wootton, Jonny Margetts and Luke Williams are all a few good weeks away at the moment.

Graham Alexander

GA: It was great to see them all at Middlesbrough and hopefully we can take good numbers down to Plymouth. We know the difficulties of getting there, but their support to us is invaluable. We need it, we want it and we want to respect the responsibility to put on a show every time they come to follow us. We will work our socks off to give them a result and make the long journey back a happy one. We do value that support week in week out.

GA: I think it will speed up towards the end of the window. I’m just trying to focus on our players and getting them ready for the game on Saturday, and if anything comes up in the meantime then we will act on it. As soon as we get the opportunity to do something, we will do it, but we have to make sure we’re not diving into anything that we don’t feel is right. If we lose our patience, we will make the wrong signings. Everyone at the club is working extremely hard to get the right people in, and we will see how that pans out in the last week.

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