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Alexander reacts to Checkatrade Trophy exit

5 December 2017

Manager Graham Alexander was feeling disappointed after the 2-1 home Checkatrade Trophy second round defeat against Leicester City Under-21s.

Match Reports

Report: Iron 1-2 Leicester City Under-21s

5 December 2017

George Thomas and Sam Hughes gave the Foxes an early two-goal lead before Kevin van Veen pulled a goal back before half-time.

Alexander told iFollow Iron that United fought better in the second period but they couldn’t find the levelling goal.

It was similar to Sunday’s game for me. They were poor, poor goals that we conceded. They put you massively on the backfoot at 2-0. It was out of nothing, they were really disappointing goals to give away. They came from our own mistakes, and we were chasing the game after that. We had the best chances if you look at them, and I don’t remember too many saves Rory Watson had to make. It set the pattern for the first-half, which was nowhere near (the required quality). The second-half was much better in tempo and aggression – all those ugly words that people don’t like but are the reality of professional football. We have to realise what professional football is about and all those ugly words help you win. We’ll be reminding ourselves and each other about how to win games.

They had two multi-million pound strikers out there but it was nothing to do with them that they scored the two goals. It was our own doing. We have to seriously look within ourselves at how we approach games. The last couple of games has been a reality check for a lot of players.

"We have to realise what professional football is about and all those ugly words help you win. We’ll be reminding ourselves and each other about how to win games."

Graham Alexander, manager

I don’t understand why, when we approach the games the same way, that we’ve started the last two games like we have done. The goals have been so out of character for us as a squad. I want to take the positives out of the second-half, but I can’t forget the first-half, the way we started, the goals and the result. I live in reality and we’ve not been good enough in the last two games. We have to correct that in the next few days, and go to Walsall playing much better than we have done in the last two games if we want to go there and get the points.

George Hornshaw was a massive positive. He’ll remember his debut for a long time. I’m disappointed other players didn’t approach it in the same way he did and make it a better day for us all as a club. He’s a good, conscientious player and it was good to him take to the role we asked him to do, and fully commit to the game. Every professional football game is precious and it has to be a privilege to be on there. You shouldn’t look at the opposition, you should focus on what you can do, and he did that. He didn’t look at names or the context of the game, he just went out and tried to perform to his best. He played on Saturday (for the Under-18s), on a soggy pitch at Oldham, cramping up at the end, but he’s gone through 90 minutes with loads of energy, getting on the ball, breaking up play and showing a great mental approach and great courage. I think the two players I asked to play again for the second time in three days (Murray Wallace and Paddy Madden) were positive too in their work ethic and approach to the game. To withdraw them when we did was pre-planned with the league games in mind.


📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander's post-Leicester City U21s thoughts

5 December 2017

It takes away the opportunity to play the whole squad. We feel we have a good squad that can play in these games and we’ve shown that over the last two years. However, there was something missing tonight and that’s disappointing for me because some of these lads might not play again for two or three months. They can’t come and knock on the door after that. They’re missing opportunities and the sooner they realise how important each game and each training session is, and how vital they are to their career the better players they’ll be. It’s a competitive business and there are so many players out there that want to be in this position. They have to fight and keep it.

Jordan is going to be missing for a while. He’s injured his hamstring and will require surgery.

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