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Alexander's team news and views ahead of Rotherham

12 October 2017

Manager Graham Alexander is expecting another difficult challenge when his side make the short journey to face Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon.

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13 October 2017

He will be hoping his side can bounce back after a home defeat against Wigan last weekend and return to winning ways.

Ahead of the match, Alexander spoke to iFollow Iron about the upcoming game, the Scunthorpe fans, the injured players and recent signing Clayton Lewis.

GA: It’s been good to get out on the training pitch without the focus of a game immediately after. To get a couple of training days in succession has been really productive. I just think it’s been good to get a week in where the lads have had a chance to regroup their thoughts and prepare themselves for Saturday. We’ve got two days of training ahead of ourselves and we will go into the game looking to win.

GA: I expect a tough physical game. They’ve got good players and were obviously a Championship club before. They take the game to the opposition and put you under pressure. They’ve got some good threat in the attacking areas. They go for wins and that has showed in their record. I don’t expect Saturday to be any different. We will have to compete at a really high level to make sure we can get our game going and get playing how we want to play. That’s the biggest focus for me, to make sure we perform at the level that’s expected of us. I felt we didn’t do that last Saturday. I think I was quite honest in my appraisal after the game that we didn’t get to the heights that we expect to right from the off. We only got going when the game was behind us and that’s not good enough. This is the next opportunity for us to put that right and that’s what we’ve been working on.

Graham Alexander

GA: It’s a bit of a derby again, against a local team. It’s a beautiful stadium they have there – I think it’s very atmospheric. With us taking over 1,000 people will add to that. It will show the players that the support is still there and want them to do well. It’s important we have that and it’s important we give them something to cheer on as well. We’re looking forward to the game and I’m hopeful the supporters look forward to it as well.

GA: Conor Townsend came back into training on Tuesday for a full day, which was good. He will be doing it again on Thursday. Charlie Goode has been training with us since the end of last week so he’s looking better as well. It’s important that these boys come back in good shape. I think they work hard when they’re injured to come back in good physical condition ready to come into training and compete for their spot in the team. We can have better training sessions with multiple players in each position and it’s more of a competitive environment. It’s good to keep these boys bubbling over and the more we can get fit, the better we will be. We will see how Conor comes through and we want to make sure he is fully fit before we expose him to first team football.

"We only got going when the game was behind us and that’s not good enough. This is the next opportunity for us to put that right and that’s what we’ve been working on."

Graham Alexander, manager

GA: He is a bit sore. On Monday and Tuesday, he couldn’t train, but we didn’t want to rule him out for the weekend, so we’ve given him every chance to be fit. His ankle wasn’t as swollen as I first thought. He takes his fair few knocks and he comes back so hopefully that will be the case this time.

GA: They’re still a little way away from being in contention with us. It will be a good, few weeks for those two boys.

GA: He’s good, but still a bit short on the fitness side of it, which is to be expected. He’s not been with us for quite a while. The level of the physicality in New Zealand is not the same as England’s, so we’re giving him the best chance to get up to the speed of it. Technically, he’s a very sound player. He’s got a really good left foot and he's positive in his play. We just know at this stage that he wouldn’t be fit enough to start a game and play for 90 minutes in League One. We’re going to work with him constantly to get him up to speed. It would be unfair to not let him do that because as a player you want to make a good, first impression. If we put him in when he’s not ready, it would be difficult for him. We will give him time and looking forward to him getting up the speed and involved with the rest of the team.

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