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Interviews

Alexander's views and team news pre-Rochdale (A)

10 August 2017

Manager Graham Alexander has been previewing the away clash against Rochdale with iFollow Iron.

The United boss spoke about what he expects from the clash at the Crown Oil Arena, and also provided some team news in the run-up to the fixture.

ON THIS SATURDAY’S GAME AGAINST THE DALE…
GA: We know it’s going to be a tough test because Rochdale are a very good team and they will be looking to get their season up and running with a win as well. We have to take confidence from parts of the performances from the last two games and add it together to make sure we get a full match of the level of quality we can produce. That will be the only way we give ourselves the opportunity of winning. Games at Rochdale have never been any different in my 30 years in the game. You always get tight, competitive matches with no quarter given. That’s the way football should be, but we’re relishing the opportunity of going there and getting a result. We’re looking forward to it.

ON HOW THE PLAYERS ARE FEELING AFTER 120 MINUTES IN MIDWEEK…
GA: The players are fit and it’s only two games into the season. I feel the extra time will have done us good, as in the fitness levels of everybody because you’re never where you need to be on day one of the season. It’s impossible to do that because of the intensity of the pre-season games (not matching competitive matches). It takes three or four games to really get up and running. We’ll look after the lads as we always do and they’ll get their recovery in but they’re fit young boys and will be ready to go again. It’s all about the mental approach and when they get into games, how far they want to push themselves. I feel a strong mentality will always overcome any physical condition that players feel they’re in. If you approach it in the right way, and are positive, you overcome those things.

"Three or four were nursing something after the game so we’ll look at them on Thursday and Friday to see if they’re in contention for Saturday."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON KNOCKS FOLLOWING MIDWEEK…
GA: We need to see how the players are after Tuesday, there were a few bumps and bruises throughout that game. Three or four were nursing something after the game so we’ll look at them on Thursday and Friday to see if they’re in contention for Saturday.

Josh Morris

ON JOSH MORRIS, WHO CAME OFF IN MIDWEEK…
GA: He’s had an x-ray and is clear of anything major, so that’s good news. It’s a case of how he can handle the discomfort, the pain and whether it hinders his movement and overall performance. We’ll assess that over the next couple of days and make a judgement on that. Josh is a tough boy though and gets through most things, so I expect him to be involved.

Neal Bishop

ON NEAL BISHOP, WHO MISSED TUESDAY’S GAME…
GA: We’re hopeful Bish can be out there joining in training on Friday. He had a dead leg, but we know what Bish is like and I expect him to be out there. Then it’s just a case of looking at him. If he’s fully fit and 100 per cent then he gives himself the best chance of being available for Saturday. We have to wait and see what he’s like on the grass first before we make that decision.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AWAY SUPPORT…
GA: We’ve had a couple of home games here now and the support has been great. We need that in every match and I constantly remind everybody about that because we need that sort of backing wherever we go. Rochdale isn’t far from here considering some of the other journeys we have to make this season, so hopefully we can take a really good number and give them something to smile about.

ON POTENTIAL TRANSFER MOVEMENT…
GA: Nothing at the moment - incoming or outgoing. We are as we are and will use the squad as we need to do. We’ll just adapt and react to anything that comes along either way in the next three weeks before the window shuts. We’re still trying to do something, and still feel we need to, but we won’t bring in a player we don’t think is good enough for us. We won’t bring anyone inferior in. We still believe we have a good group of players here who can win games, but we’ll always try to improve that as best we can.

ON JACK DYCHE AND LESLIE SACKEY’S LOAN MOVES TO ASHTON UNITED AND SHEFFIELD FC…
GA: They will be training with us most days and will also train with their respective teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays before playing on Saturdays. They will be with us for the rest of the week. It is a development plan for them. They need to play every weekend and come January if they’ve played 20/25 games and done well then they’ll have certainly improved. We’re delighted Dychey and Les have gone out there, and it’s down to them now to represent us as a club and show what we’re about. I’ve spoken to both of them, they’re good lads and aware of their responsibilities.

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