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Graham Alexander: It's a period where we will be tested and challenged

21 December 2017

Manager Graham Alexander wants his side to get back to winning ways when Southend United make the visit to Glanford Park this Saturday.

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📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander previews the visit of Southend United

21 December 2017

The Iron drew 2-2 at home to MK Dons last weekend and Alexander wants the same desire to be shown again. 

Ahead of the game, he spoke to iFollow Iron about this weekend’s visitors, team news and also congratulated Hakeeb Adelakun on winning EFL’s Young Player of the Month award. 

ON PREPARATIONS FOR THIS WEEKEND’S MATCH… 

GA: We’ve had a bit of an issue with the training pitch because of the weather, but we’ve still got time to get our final preparations done for the game. It is a game we want to win. We will do our best to do that and get us back on the winning track. We can take a lot of positives from last week and I expect another good performance from the players this week. 

ON MISSING A NUMBER OF PLAYERS THROUGH INJURY… 

GA: It’s a period where we are being tested and challenged, but we know these things can come along so we just get on with the work and put out the best team possible. We know whichever team we put out will be motivated to get a result. We were stretched last week and more stretched after the sending off, yet the desire from the players was fantastic. That is something that I’m really proud of. 

ON SOUTHEND UNITED… 

GA: I think like a lot of clubs in this league you can’t really tell where they are going to finish up. They have pulled out some fantastic results and results that they are probably disappointed with. We know they have got very good players and a very experienced manager. They will be coming here determined to get a result. It will be a challenge for us, but it is another one that we can overcome. We just have to focus on what we can bring to the game. We have got to be ready for a fully motivated Southend coming here to get a result, so we have to make sure that we are at our best. 

ON TEAM NEWS… 

GA: Not at the moment (on injured players returning to contention), which is why it is a difficult one for us. We fell that we have got the players to put out a good team and a team that can win the game. We’re close with two or three but not close enough. Then we have got four games in eight days, so these lads are going to struggle to play every single game in such a short period. We are going to have to prepare right and look after the players involved. 

ON RORY McARDLE AND LEE NOVAK… 

GA: Rory is not even out on the grass yet. We are hopeful for around New Year. Lee Novak could possibly be back out on the grass either today or tomorrow with the medical team. 

ON HAKEEB ADELAKUN WINNING EFL YOUNG PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER… 

GA: It was thoroughly deserved, he has been in great form. His whole demeanour and approach to his game has been fantastic for this season. He has seen the rewards for it and shown a real determination to put consistent performances together and get picked consistently. He has certainly shown his value to us as a member of this squad. Hopefully he can continue.


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