Alexander looking forward to return home

COVENTRY-born skipper Graham Alexander will be roared on by a large family contingent at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 17th November 2010, 2:13 pm

And he hopes his clan can help inspire Burnley to their first away win.

The Scotland international spent his youth on the terraces at Highfield Road, and while Coventry have left their famous old home, the city remains a home from home: “It’s a big one for me and my family.

“All my family are going on Saturday so I’ve had to sort out a few tickets.

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“At the moment it’s standing at 13 or 14 but I know I’ll get a text saying ‘can I have another five tickets’ as if I’m loaded with them!”

Burnley go there having moved back into the top six with a 3-2 win against Watford at Turf Moor.

But they haven’t won back to back league games since last August - when Manchester United and Everton were sent packing.

Alexander said: “The Premier League was a hard place to achieve that, but the Championship’s just as tough.

“There are so many good teams in the division and they’re so competitive I think the mentality throughout the division is teams think they can win most weeks. That’s why you’re going to get hard-fought games.

“But we need to get that away win.

“It’s something we’re not really too worried about in-house, but we know that if we want to be at the top end of the table we’ve got to pick up more points away from home than we are.

“It’s something we have to put right, but if you can win the majority of your home games and you’re unbeaten away you’ll be there or thereabouts.

“But we’ve still got intentions of catching the top two so we need to get some away wins as well.”

It’s gone unnoticed that the Clarets are unbeaten in five games away, and shows the expectations that away draws at QPR and Norwich were not celebrated, with the side having won only one of their last 30 away league matches.

Alexander admitted: “If we just took five games on their own you would say that’s a good run, but it’s because it’s been added to the previous 12-14 months.

“That’s why being unbeaten has probably gone un-noticed.

“That’s something we have to change ourselves. No-one’s going to do us any favours.

“But the lads are fully committed and concentrated on doing that.”

Last time out at Coventry, two years ago, Alexander made his 700th league start, and the milestones keep on coming.

When he came off the bench against Doncaster Rovers last Tuesday, he became the club’s oldest post-war outfield player.

But he is more interested in promotions and trophies: “I think 90 per cent of my milestones are to do with my age.

“I suppose if you keep hanging on long enough it will get thrown at you.

“Things like that are great.

“Football’s about winning games but it’s good to look back on when you’re finished and you’re name’s mentioned in positive terms.

“But the football is the be all and end all for me to be honest.”