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Alexander provides team news and views ahead of Shrewsbury clash

16 March 2018

Manager Graham Alexander has spoken to iFollow Iron ahead of this weekend's home match against Shrewsbury Town, and provided his team news.

Talking about the need to focus on themselves, he said his players need to show the same positive mindset that they did against Wigan.

GA: I thought last week the players were superb in how they approached the game and played throughout it. The disappointment and frustration at the end was not being able to see it through. The performance was very good and the goals we scored were excellent. In general, I thought our defending was good even after we took the lead. We know we can do a lot of good things but need to turn the screw a little bit to make sure we finish these games. It is another opportunity to win three points, but it is a tough one. Shrewsbury are on a fantastic run this season and have done a lot of good things. We have shown that we can compete with the teams at the top end because we are one of them.

GA: They have shown great resilience to get to this point of the season still in the top three. They started the season exceptionally well and had a bit of a headstart, but they have maintained it, picking up points all the way through. They have done an excellent job under Paul Hurst. We know the challenge we have got at Glanford Park on Saturday, but I am sure they know of our qualities as well. They are very compact, hard-working and have got some really good players. Their defensive record is very good, as was Wigan’s. It is about what we do and finding where we can possibly expose Shrewsbury. We need to be doing the work on the training pitch and then the players need to remember that and do it during the game when the pressure is on. I thought we did that last week superbly well.

GA: I believe the last few games we have shown some real good positive signs of how we play. We have to keep believing in the work we are doing. The players have got enough intelligence to know that the team has the quality to win games and that is the approach we have got to have on Saturday. We need to have a positive mindset and have to continue to encourage between each other. I trust the players. I see the work they do every day and have done since the start of pre-season. I just feel we have lost focus at certain points in games for a short period, but it has cost us. We have to try and refocus each individual and remind each other what is needed to win a game of football. 

GA: Jordan Clarke has continued to train every day this week and improved each day, which is a major positive for us. He hasn’t been able to play a reserve game for us yet, but we possibly have a behind-closed-doors one next week, which will be good for him. From what I have seen in training, he is very much up to speed. I must say that Neal Bishop and Murray Wallace were superb in the full-back areas both going forward and their defensive work. Jordan is going to have to come in, continue to train and show he is back to his best to put pressure on the players in front of him.

GA: Marnick has joined in the last couple of warm-ups so he is doing half-training to get back up to speed. Lee Novak will still be missing for a couple of weeks yet. He has gone to see a specialist and we will see what the judgement is from that. It is about how he responds to the rehab he is going through and the treatment. Hopefully we will have him back as soon as possible.

GA: It is not as bad but he is still not available. It will still be a couple of weeks before he is back fit and ready to compete with the rest of the boys.

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