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Interviews

Alexander looks ahead to Northampton FA Cup replay

13 November 2017

Manager Graham Alexander has been previewing the FA Cup first round replay against Northampton Town for iFollow Iron.

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14 November 2017

The United boss provided the latest team news, and looked ahead to the challenge the Cobblers will pose at Glanford Park this Tuesday evening (7.45pm kick-off).

ON THE PREPARATIONS…
GA:
We’re just getting down to the real work really after the weekend’s efforts. We’re getting all the things together in terms of analysis and set-piece work, and will go out there on Monday afternoon to train and see how players are before we really get down to what we’ve got to do on Tuesday. We’re going to have to change a couple of positions because of players unavailable to us, so we’ll try and work on that on Monday and Tuesday to make sure we’re in the best possible place when we play the game on Tuesday night.

ON FACING THE COBBLERS THREE TIMES IN TWO WEEKS…
GA:
It’s one of those quirks of the fixture list – especially with the FA Cup and league being so close together, and then you get a replay. Each game can be different though, even against the same opponent. We have to prepare as a normal game and make sure we focus on what we need to bring into it. I’m sure by 5pm on Saturday we’ll be sick of the sight of each other and will be looking forward to facing somebody else. It’s a good game for both teams, we both know the possible opponent in the next round and I’m sure the motivation will be there to win the game for both clubs.

"It’s about winning football matches, feeling good about our jobs and feeling good going into the next game. Our motivation is high to win on Tuesday night."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A SECOND ROUND CLASH AT DONCASTER…
GA:
For me, the staff and the players, we just focus on winning as much as we can in every competition. Every game and every training session, there has to be a winning mentality throughout what we do. If I even thought there was extra motivation going into Tuesday, I’d feel we’ve let ourselves down in previous games because we need to be highly motivated in every single match. We need 100 per cent focus to win a game of football – it’s good for the feel-good factor of everyone to do with the club. It’s about winning football matches, feeling good about our jobs and feeling good going into the next game. Our motivation is high to win on Tuesday night.

ON ANDREW CROFTS BEING CALLED UP BY WALES…
GA:
We need all the good players we can get every week, but when you sign good players you know this can be a concern - especially when it’s not his first call-up because he’s been in the Welsh squad quite often before. He wasn’t named in the original squad, so we thought we had him available for us, but it was a late call-up on Saturday that took us by surprise. We have good players in the squad who can play in the position Crofty does to compete in there, and we’ll put out a team that we feel can win the game. Whoever we put out there has to be at their maximum to make sure any players we lose (for instance, we didn’t have Rory McArdle on Saturday, who is a big player for us, the captain and has played every single game) and won the game with a clean sheet. That’s because of the professionalism of the lads, the preparations we put into the players and them taking it on board. The group has to be stronger than any individual and that’s what we try to encourage right from the start. Hopefully when we lose players we’re strong enough to continue winning games.

ON RORY McARDLE’S AVAILABILITY AFTER RETURNING FROM NORTHERN IRELAND INTERNATIONAL DUTY…
GA:
I spoke to Rory McArdle by text after the Northern Ireland game, passing on my commiserations, because it was a sad night for Northern Ireland losing in such a fashion and having the World Cup place taken away from them. Rory has been missed by us because he’s a fantastic player and a great lad to have around the place. He came back on Monday and we look forward to having him back with us.

ON WHETHER JOSH MORRIS WILL PLAY A PART AFTER COMING OFF AT THE WEEKEND…
GA:
Josh is with the medical staff at the moment, and we’ll look at him on Monday afternoon to see how he is. There are a couple of players we have to do that with before we sort the final team. Hopefully Josh is okay and we sorted the problem before it manifests into a big issue.

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