Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Alexander updates on injuries and previews Southend away

25 January 2018

Iron manager Graham Alexander is challenging his side to reach the performance levels displayed at Glanford Park on Tuesday night when he takes his team to Southend United this Saturday.

Ticket News

Iron fans can pay on the day at Southend United

25 January 2018

Alexander was delighted with the showing from his side against Doncaster Rovers, with the only disappointment an equaliser deep into stoppage time.

He spoke to iFollow Iron ahead of the trip to Roots Hall, with Chris Powell set to be in the home dugout for the first time.

GA: I thought we were superb the other night. The performance was as we hoped, as we expected and what we talked about. The response was as I expected to be fair, because I know this group of players and there’s a lot of trust from me in them. We have to do that again on Saturday and make sure we repeat all the good things that we did. If we do that, we give ourselves the best chance of winning. When we play like that on the front foot and are aggressive, I think it is difficult to handle us.

GA: Obviously, he will want to stamp his authority and get his philosophy across to the squad. It will take him more than three of four days, but generally there’s a reaction for the first couple of games at least. We’ve already experienced that when we faced Gillingham earlier this season. There’s always a challenge of some sorts. We know they’ve got good players and Chris is a very experienced manager, especially at this level - he’s had success before. We’ll be expecting a Southend team that are right at it. Chris being in charge will give the fans a lift and Roots Hall is a tough place to go at any time of the season. We have to go and compete, which we do all the time, and focus on ourselves - that’s the most important thing for me.

"I thought we were superb the other night. The performance was as we hoped, as we expected and what we talked about. The response was as I expected to be fair, because I know this group of players and there’s a lot of trust from me in them."

Graham Alexander, manager

GA: I’ve played there a number of times, I’ve managed there and it’s a tough place to go. It’s a tight ground and the crowd are very vociferous behind their team. They can intimidate things that go on on the pitch, as we’ve seen before, but we have to overcome all these obstacles. At the end of the day, it is 11 men against 11 men and we have to make sure that our 11 men are better than theirs on the day.

GA: I believe we are better when we are playing midweek, Saturday, midweek, Saturday. We had a break after the Bury game and I think, although it will do us good in the long term, it brought our match sharpness down for a couple of games. Looking at Tuesday though, I think it’s back at the levels that we expect.

GA: It’s not as bad as we first feared. When you see any player stretchered off, it’s not good, but someone as tough as Bish, it is a worry. I was concerned when he went down because there wasn’t much rolling about. Normally when a player stays still, generally they are hurt. He was in a bit of pain to be fair. There’s no major swelling around his knee and we’re quite hopeful he will be back after the weekend, which is a bonus. It would be too much of a risk for a player to get stretchered off and play three or four days later. It will probably give someone the opportunity on Saturday to come in and stake their claim. It was a contact injury. He was in mid-air and made a fantastic challenge, getting to the ball before their player. Bish has taken the ball and the lad’s full power of the shot has gone through him. His leg was off the floor, which has enabled it to swing with the kick. If his leg was in contact with the floor, I think it would have been a serious one.

GA: He’s back on the grass today (Thursday), which is a major step forward, so we’ll see how he is. This will be the first day he’s gone out. He won’t be training with us, he will be with the medical team, but it is a bonus to have him back out there. He’s a major player for this club and has been fantastic since he came here. Time is the biggest healer. It’s not a major one, so we expect for him to be fit reasonably soon.

GA: We’ve got a dedicated group of supporters who travel with us everywhere - from the far depths of England and elsewhere! Southend is a lovely place to go - my auntie lives there - but we’re looking forward to putting on a performance that rewards their loyalty again. It’s a long way to go, but hopefully it is worthwhile.

See much more from Graham Alexander on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

Advertisement block