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Alexander ready for Doncaster derby clash

15 September 2017

Manager Graham Alexander is looking to please the travelling Iron fans on Sunday with a win at local rivals Doncaster Rovers.

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Despite losing on Tuesday night, he was pleased with the team’s performance and hopes that will continue at the weekend, hoping to get the full three points.

He spoke to iFollow Iron about the preparations for Sunday, the game itself and provides the latest team news.

GA: It’s a big game for both clubs. I think the supporters obviously want to put one over the local rivals. We take that responsibility into account, but it’s important we focus on the game itself, rather than the periphery of it and what it means. Players play with pride every time they put the shirt on, so I don’t believe we have to do anything differently on Sunday than what we’ve been doing recently. The performances have certainly warranted good results, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.

GA: We’ve just had an extra day to get another day’s training. With the midweek game, it would have been difficult to get that proper day’s training in with recovery and then preparation for the game. With it being on Sunday, we can train properly today, have a full session and see how the players are. I think we want to carry on from where we left on Tuesday and hopefully get the goals we deserve. The players are in a good place, despite the result the other night. We have to take that positive mentality into Sunday’s game.

GA: If our performances were disjointed and inconsistent, we would be looking for answers to that. I think our performances have been pretty consistent, our results have shown that - we just haven’t been as ruthless as we have been in front of goal. That’s what we have to find. We’ve defended well in games and we’ve created chances, but just haven’t been sticking them away. That’s throughout the team, defenders have their responsibility to score from set-pieces and so forth. We’re looking for midfielders to chip in as well as the front boys. Everyone has to take that responsibility to get the goals we need to win games. At this stage of the season, we’re looking to build each game and improve each performance. I really believe that has been the case.

Levi Sutton

GA: Levi Sutton is a little bit sore and stiff following the other night. I think he had a bit of an awkward landing from a challenge where he landed on the back of his neck/top of the shoulders. That’s where a majority of his discomfort was, so he’s going to take part in half of the training session on Friday and then we'll see how he is after that. He’s got a bit of soreness and stiffness around his neck and shoulder areas. We will see how he is in the morning and make an assessment from that. It’s better than what we first thought when he came off. Hopefully he will be in contention for Sunday. There is no concussion, that’s the main thing. It was just pain.

GA: Everyone else got through the game unscathed. No-one wants to come out of the team, everyone is competing to stay in it or be in it. They’re all in good shape and fingers crossed that can continue because we need a full-strength squad to be able to choose from. We need all of them to make sure we win games. Jonathon Margetts and Luke Williams are coming along slowly. We’re taking our time with those a little bit more because it’s not just been one injury, it’s been a couple – one after another with both of them. We’re taking time with their recovery to make sure that, when they do come back fit, they stay fully fit and there’s no repeat of anything that’s gone wrong. They’re going to be a few good weeks away yet.

GA: We’re trying to arrange a game. Whenever we’ve not got a midweek fixture, we try and get games in there for the players who are not playing regularly. They’re desperate to play and we want them to be ready when their opportunity comes to take it. They’re training hard but they need that game situation to keep up to speed with the feeling of a match and playing against opposition you don’t know. Hopefully we can get one in next Tuesday and we can get everybody playing. It gives us the best chance of picking the best team.

"I think it will be a competitive game between two attacking teams and it’s a game we want to go to and win, and I’m sure they will be thinking the same."

Graham Alexander, manager

GA: I expect a team that’s going to come at us. They’ve got a lot of attacking talent in their ranks. I think Darren Ferguson always has a squad with attacking options in it, so we will see that on Sunday. They will understand the feeling around the game as much as we will. I think it will be a competitive game between two attacking teams and it’s a game we want to go to and win, and I’m sure they will be thinking the same.

GA: We need the support. We’re not going to have too many short journeys this season, so I’m glad they’re going to come in their numbers. Whenever they come and show that support, we always respond to that. We’re delighted with all our following, home and away. I think they get behind and give us the backing we need and deserve. We saw that on Tuesday. Even though we got beat 1-0, there was no dissatisfaction from the supporters because they knew they saw their team play exceptionally well and deserved to get something more out of the game. I know we will repay that loyalty with good results and hopefully that starts on Sunday.

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