Preston North End legend Graham Alexander has taken to his coaching role very well. Himself and Unsworth saw the LilyWhites win 1-0 away to MK Dons last Saturday and are hoping to continue a winning run on their upcoming game against Carlisle United. 

From 1998 – 2007 Alexander played for Preston until he was transferred to rivals Burnley for four seasons, but now he’s returned not only to play football but has taken on a player - management role along with caretaker manager David Unsworth. 

Although injured Graham has urged the focus is not on him self right now, but on the players and the games ahead;

‘My focus is purely on the team and all the focus from all my individual perspective has gone out of the window.’

‘It just feels like a natural thing to help the players and help the team and like I say we’ve both really enjoyed the past week.’

Learning from his experience playing for the club Alexander knows what needs to be done on the pitch and how much reliance the players have on their team mates. Looking back at the MK Dons game, it was clear the lads had done just that.

‘I’ve always thought you can’t do anything on your own in football you need your team mates around you, you need the support system.’

‘[The game] was great to watch because they were all there for each other and that’s the way it should be.’ 

Midfielder Paul Coutts was given the role of Captain in last week’s game and Graham expressed how Coutts took on the position with passion for the club.

‘I think he was pleased with the honour of being captain of Preston North End and it showed in his performance that the club means a lot to him and his team mates mean a lot to him and he answered everything that we asked of him.’

It’s unsure how long both Unsworth and Alexander will be in charge of the team, and with the transfer window opening in January it was interesting to know whether the pair had thought about potential signings for the new year. 

‘We’ve spoke with the chairman and he just asked us for our opinions on positions we need to strengthen.’

‘We need to bring in a couple of people in if we can and obviously the chairman’s working every hour to try and do something for the team that’s all we need.’
‘But our main focus is on the team and the players that we’ve got. We just want to concentrate on keeping their focus on the game in front of us.’

Looking to the Boxing Day game Graham is assured that the players are ready to tackle Carlisle;

‘They’re upbeat and they’re positive about the forthcoming games. As long as they take the spirit, the togetherness and the confidence what they showed on Saturday into Boxing Day we’ll be happy.’

Carlisle fans will be out in force for the match, and Alexander was certain North End fans will bring their spirit with them to the game.

‘Carlisle will be bringing a big crowd down, I’m sure Preston will respond to that and show their support for the team and hopefully we can do everyone justice and put on a performance.’

‘Everyone comes here to be entertained and hopefully that will happen on Boxing Day.’ 
7/22/2012 12:12:14 pm

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