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Interviews

Alexander reacts to York draw

12 July 2017

Iron manager Graham Alexander provided his reaction to iFollow Iron following the 2-2 pre-season friendly draw at York

United came back from two goals down to emerge from Bootham Crescent with a draw, thanks to second-half goals from Neal Bishop and Hakeeb Adelakun.

Alexander had seen his side train earlier on Wednesday and was pleased to see the bulk of his squad receive another 45 minutes of game time.

ON THE GAME…
GA: I was pleased with the mindset, especially in the second-half with the comeback from two goals down to get a 2-2 draw. There are obviously things to improve on but that’s what these games are for. You want to learn about your team and the work you’re doing. It was a proper test for us tonight. York have some very good players and played really well. It was an uplift in the challenge we had to face and at times we struggled with it, so we have a lot of work to do. It was an all-round test for us. We should have scored in the first half and if we’d have taken a couple of those chances it might have been a different scenario. It makes us realise that we need to get our heads down and work exceptionally hard on the fitness and tactical side of it, and take what we do in training into the games.

ON FIRST GOALSCORER NEAL BISHOP…
GA: He set the standard for everybody today and if anybody in the squad needs a pointer on how to approach a game then that’s it. He’s prepared his mind for this game, approached it right and when he crossed the white line, wanted to win and do things well. The way he went about it, he was winning 50/50 tackles, winning second balls, bringing it forward, scoring a goal and he’s put a marker down for the season and that’s what we need the players to do.

ON SECOND GOALSCORER HAKEEB ADELAKUN…
GA: He’s another one who’s followed on from his training performances, I think he’s been very good in training. There’s still room for improvement in his tactical play in being part of the team defensively but when he’s on the ball and he’s positive like that he’s a very difficult player to play against, as he showed in there. When he gets around the goal he has great quality in his finishing.

ON TRIALIST LIAM TROTTER…
GA: It was a follow on from Saturday for him. The game was a bit tougher but he got on the ball when he could. He gave us a bit of a defensive shield against any goal kicks and so forth. I’m going to have a chat with Liam now to see what we do going forward with that. (It was confirmed on Thursday night that Trotter's trial had ended).

ON KNOCKS THIS EVENING…
GA: Lewis Butroid is carrying a knock, which was from training this morning. We have to remember we’ve trained this morning and had double sessions all this week, so we do take that into account a little bit but I still want things done better than we did tonight. I like to go into these early games fatigued though because they do have to be tough tests. We will have times this season when we have to play fatigued but we still have to produce the quality under stress to perform. These games are a reality check for us that we have a lot of work to do, but that’s what pre-season is for and why we pick the level of opposition at points. It allows us to train right up to the game.

ON JORDAN CLARKE MISSING OUT…
GA: He has a dead leg picked up in training on Monday morning. He’s been missing from training but should be fit for Sunday when we train properly out in Austria, along with Tom Hopper.

ON WHAT’S AHEAD…
GA: We’re training tomorrow. In pre-season you have to really get the jets up and running, work on technique and all the things that come into making a footballer and football team. We will then fly out on Saturday to Austria and train as soon as we land. You have to work hard at this particular time because once you get into pre-season and have midweek games it breaks up your working week. We have to get as much as we can out of this period.

See much more from Graham Alexander on iFollow Iron.


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