Manager Graham Alexander insists his Salford City side are more than prepared for a tricky run of fixtures, ahead of Exeter City’s visit to the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday.
The Ammies, who are winless in three League Two outings, host the second-placed Grecians, then face a trip to Bradford City in sixth and the visit of fifth spot Crewe Alexandra, all within the next two weeks, but Alexander remained defiant over his side’s chances.
“We relish every opportunity we get to play football,” he said. “You can’t pick or choose your opponents; you can’t disrespect anyone at any level by saying ‘this will be an easy fixture or I’d rather play them,’ I think that’s a dangerous mindset to have.
“On the flipside of that, you can’t be daunted or scared about playing the teams at the top end. For me, I go into every game looking forward to seeing my time play rather than the challenge that the opposition brings.
“We’re going to see our players playing against a team that’s at the top end of this division, where we want to be ultimately. It’s another test for us as individuals, our team, to try and improve and follow on from our previous performances.”
Salford’s last League Two victory came on November 2 – a 2-1 win away at Newport County – while four of their last seven ties have come in either the EFL Trophy or FA Cup, and Alexander suggested that such a run has been to the detriment of their league form.
“It bothers me every time we don’t win; we’re in this game to win. I felt we were on a good run of form in the league up to the Newport game and then we stopped playing for a few weeks.
“I think we had four cup games over that and some tough games in there against Burton in a League One team, and it probably just buffered our league form a little.
“Whenever you don’t get the win or a positive result, there’s always a disappointment and frustration inside you. That’s what we are as professionals; we’re here to win games, so when you don’t, you have to work hard why and try your best in the next game.”
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The Scotsman revealed that various players are struggling to be in contention for the Exeter showdown through either illness or injury, but Alexander expressed his defiance that his squad are strong enough to be consistent this season.
“I believe we’ve had quite a bit of misfortune with injuries this season and we’ve struggled to pick the same side more than twice. But this is the nature of football; it’s a grind, it’s a marathon and there’s loads of challenges that come your way.
“If you don’t focus on the solutions to those problems and start feeling sorry for yourself, then you’re in a bad position. All we work on is the positive side of it, how do we fix these issues and how do we come out of it in a better shape?
“You have to win games consistently; it’s not any one period of that season that creates success, it’s the longevity of the season. I look at our squad and, within that, there’s a team that can win games consistently. That’s the focus for us, but we’ve got to win the next one.”
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