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Interviews

Alexander: They're all big games for us

20 November 2017

Manager Graham Alexander has reported no fresh injury worries ahead of Tuesday night’s game at Bradford City.

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Fans can pay cash on the turnstile at Bradford City

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Previewing the match for iFollow Iron, the United boss also provided an update on some of the players who will return from injury soon.

ON THE MATCH THIS TUESDAY…
GA:
They’re all big games for us - whoever we play, we like to approach in the right way. It will be a tough challenge, but Saturday was too (when the Iron won 3-0 at Northampton). We had to work extremely hard and go through everything in a game that you have to go through to get a result. We got the upper hand and scored the goals to win the game. We’re under no illusions – we’ll have to be very good again to get a positive result. The players have been very good in their performances and approach to the games. I think that’s come out in the victories we’ve got.

ON BRADFORD CITY…
GA:
They’re very well supported and the crowd really get behind them. For me, as a former player, these are the sort of environments you want to go into and show what you’re about. The team and the players have always stood up to these environments and atmospheres and played well. We’ll have to do that again on Tuesday, because we know Bradford’s qualities and they’re a very good team. I think it will be a good game. Our matches against them last year were very good adverts for League One but our main concern is our performance and approach to the game, and obviously the end result.

"We’re under no illusions – we’ll have to be very good again to get a positive result. The players have been very good in their performances and approach to the games. I think that’s come out in the victories we’ve got."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON RECENT RESULTS…
GA:
Our momentum has built since the start of the season. I don’t think a couple of the results that went against us were deserved but we know the nature of professional football – you have to score while you’re on top. What we did on Saturday was score while we were on top, and that’s what you have to do as a team. When the other side are in the ascendency it’s important you don’t concede and are tough to play against. We’ve done that really well in the last month, and we need to show that resolve right through until the end of the season to give ourselves the best chance of being successful.



ON JOSH MORRIS’ FITNESS AHEAD OF A GAME AGAINST HIS FORMER CLUB…
GA:
We’re going to assess Josh ahead of the game. He stayed behind over the weekend because there was no point taking him down, travelling on the bus, if he wasn’t going to be involved. We’ll assess him and see where he is. We want all our players as fit as possible before games, but we won’t risk further injury. That’s up to us and the medical team to judge, and we’ll listen to the player as well. In the three-and-a-half years I’ve worked with Josh, he wants to play every day. It’s a former club so that will be a bit extra special but there’s never been a change in Josh’s motivation to get his boots on and be out there. I’ve never seen any lack of it for training or anything we put on. It’s unusual for Josh to miss any game but hopefully he’ll be back soon.

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📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander previews his side's trip to face Bradford City

20 November 2017

ON THE STRENGTH OF THE SQUAD OVERALL…
GA:
The group has to be stronger than any individual. We work on that from the start of pre-season. It’s about the squad and everybody being ready to play. When we miss any player, someone else has to be prepared to step into that breach to keep the team performance level as strong as it has been before.

ON SIMON CHURCH…
GA:
He’ll probably rejoin training at the end of this week or the start of next week. We want to be very careful with him. We have to be on the cautious side of the rehab, for instance, we don’t know him and his body as well as we know Josh Morris, who I’ve worked with for three years. We’ll make sure he’s fully fit before he’s in the squad again. He made a big impact at the start and he’s desperate to be out there again. Hopefully he’ll be back with us really soon.

ON RORY McARDLE RETURNING TO TAKE ON HIS FORMER CLUB…
GA:
He was a fantastic player for Bradford and everyone who knows him knows what a fantastic professional he is and what a quality man he is away from the pitch. He was part of a Bradford team that saw some special times and was one of the main instigators there. We were delighted when he decided to join us during the summer and I’m sure he’ll get a positive reception. He’ll be well aware of their qualities as well and what we’ll face on Tuesday. It’s great to have that knowledge in the group, and he’ll be as motivated as he is to win every game.

ON INJURIES SINCE THE WEEKEND…
GA:
We have no new worries following from Saturday so that’s good. We have a good, competitive squad. Clayton Lewis comes back into contention after being back in England for a few days (following international duty with New Zealand) and getting his sleep patterns right again. We have 20/21 players who are all fully fit and desperate to get into that first team squad and contribute.

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