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Interviews

Alexander: Every professional game is precious

5 December 2017

Graham Alexander has spurred his squad on to show him that they deserve a first-team spot during Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy game against Leicester U21s.

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Tickets on sale for Checkatrade Trophy second round clash v Leicester

5 December 2017

The Iron were beaten 3-0 by Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup yesterday and the United boss wants a quick reaction from his players, especially those trying to break into the first-team.  

Alexander discussed the packed fixture list, who will return to the squad and what it would mean to progress in an interview with iFollow Iron.

ON WHAT IT WOULD MEAN TO PROGRESS IN THE TROPHY…
GA: I’ll never stop repeating myself in that I don’t see any reason to relax the preparation, our approach or how we perform. Every professional football game is precious. It’s a great opportunity for you to show what you can do and it’s a great opportunity for you to feel good about yourself. You can only do that by playing well and winning, so I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t try and do our best on Tuesday. That’s the target for us.

ON LEICESTER CITY UNDER-21s…
GA: We’ve watched them and we have a couple of reports on them. We know what they are about and they are a very good team. Much like their first-team, they work extremely hard. They will press you and defensively they are very strong. It will be a challenge for us. We were quite impressed with what we saw when we've watched them play so we know it will be a tough game for us.

ON THEIR SUCCESS IN THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR…
GA: What we have seen is that out of the Under-21 teams, they are probably the team most similar to a league side. They will play on the front foot and work extremely hard. They obviously have quality or they wouldn’t be in the Premier League. We know what we are going to face. We are looking for our young players to show what they can do and take the game to them. We are at home and we want to win. We have shown over the last two years that we take every game seriously and we’ve got a good record in the Checkatrade Trophy. We want to continue that and progress to the next round.

"We were quite impressed with what we saw when we've watched them play so we know it will be a tough game for us."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON WHETHER WE CAN EXPECT CHANGES TO THE TEAM…
GA: We have just come off the back of a tough FA Cup game on Sunday and playing two games in three days is tough but doable. The players are going to have to do that throughout the season without a shadow of a doubt. I use these games to make sure that the squad is as competitive as it can be. Players have proved their point in the Checkatrade Trophy both this season and last season. They have been putting in those performances and getting into the first-team, so these games are really important to me as a manager but to the players as well. It’s important that they go into this game and show what they can do. It’s their chance to shine and put pressure on the players that played on Sunday. I expect that to be the case.

ON WHETHER SOME PLAYERS FROM SUNDAY WILL HAVE TO PLAY AGAIN TO COVER…
GA: We have two or three players that will have played on Sunday as well. It’s good that they are physically in good shape and look after themselves. We know at the start of the season that there will be times in the season where we have to go into the game less than 100%, so it’s about how our mental approach is in those games. I know that the players will get the right approach.

Videos

📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander previews Checkatrade Trophy clash with Leicester City U21s

4 December 2017

ON WHO WE CAN EXPECT TO RETURN TO THE SQUAD…
GA: No-one new is coming into the squad. We have the same squad as the one that we had at the weekend. That’s why we have to play two or three players again. This is a game that we are looking forward to. It’s at home, so we have the responsibility to put on a good performance for the supporters that come to watch us and a responsibility to ourselves to show ourselves in the best light.

ON ANY INJURIES PICKED UP AT DONCASTER…
GA: There are a couple of little niggles that the lads reported at the end of the game on Sunday. Our numbers are depleted a little bit from having two games in three days anyway. Therefore, that’s made it a little tougher for us. We have to take that into account. We don’t risk players at any time whether that’s a league game, the Checkatrade Trophy or the Carabao Cup so we have to make sure that we have a fully fit team out there. That’s the most important thing for me as we can’t perform unless we have 11 players that are physically prepared and ready to perform. That’s embedded into my thinking. It’s not just about injury prevention but also being able to perform. We need to have players who can run around for 95 minutes at least to get a result. Therefore, that will have an impact on our thinking. 

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