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League Two

Graham Alexander hoping to make mark

23 May 2014

Graham Alexander can record his first significant managerial achievement with Fleetwood Town this Monday, and he admits it would be on a par with his previous Wembley win with Burnley.

The 42-year-old will return to the setting of arguably his finest hour in a 1,000-game career on Monday when the Cod Army meet Burton in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final.

It was at Wembley where he won promotion as a player with Burnley as the Clarets defeated Sheffield United to win a seat at football's top table in 2009.

And Alexander, who went on to score seven times in the east Lancashire club's one-year Premier League stay, would rank taking Fleetwood into the third tier as equally special.

"It would be just the same," he revealed.

"I know people do say as a manager it's a better achievement but I think success is the same for everyone.

"The manager, the staff, the players, the supporters - they're all going to have the same feeling and that's euphoria. It's going to be a great feeling if that's the case. It will be a reward for all the work people have put in.

"For me, it's about repaying the faith people have shown in me this season and last and getting this opportunity to get this job. That's what I want to do, I want to repay that faith, I want to help players create good memories for themselves.

"I want to help people enjoy good times and I've got to focus on what will get us those good times."

Despite calling upon an unrivalled wealth of playing experience, Alexander admits he is still very much learning in his first full-time managerial position.

He inherited the job in December 2012 and Cod Army captain Mark Roberts stated Alexander had evolved as a manager recently, a statement his boss concurred with.

"Definitely, without a doubt," he said.

"It's a job you learn in every single day because there's always something new that comes up. You're looking after 20 first-team players, youth-team players, staff and they're all individuals with their own lives.

"I do feel that I have done that, I feel like I'm a different manager to the one I was at the start of the season and that's just through experience.

"It's the same as when you're a player, you evolve if you've got anything about you. You can't just be one person and one way for 20 years. The game changes, society changes, so you have to adapt to your surroundings, you have to adapt to what your job requires .

"That's what I feel like I've done. Whether it's right or wrong, who knows. I just try to be me, I don't try to be anyone else. I have my ups and downs, the same as anyone has in their jobs but one thing I never do is lose my focus which is to be successful with this club."

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