Salford City visit Crawley Town’s People’s Pension Group Stadium for the first time on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two.
It was a great start to our Football League journey last weekend as Mani Dieseruvwe’s brace delivered a 2-0 win against Stevenage at The Peninsula Stadium.
After becoming the first promoted side to win their first game since Aldershot in 2008, Graham Alexander says that maintaining performance levels will be crucial to making that back-to-back wins.
“There were a lot of good things that went on on Saturday but we’ve tried to find something we can improve on, which I think we can, but for the first game of the season, at any level, we would have been pleased with the performance and the result.
“But with it being such an historic game for us, a mark in the sand for us, I felt the players just played the game as normal and deservedly won so it’s been a good week.
“You always want to follow on from performances, good performances, good results, with a repeat end product really, and we want to win the game [on Saturday], that’s the first thing we have to say and we have to concentrate on.
“The games will start coming thick and fast with league games and cup games, and we have to make sure that we’re focused on the next challenge. Like I say there’s lots of good teams at this level and we have to make sure we’re ready for those.
“We’ve approached pre-season in the right way, I think the players have especially, they’re all physically getting there, I think there’s still three or four to catch up but the standards have been higher than they were 12 months ago, and we have to maintain those levels of improvement if we want to be successful.”
There are no new injury concerns ahead of the trip to West Sussex. Liam Hogan is a doubt after seeing a surgeon about a niggle he has at the moment.
“Liam Hogan’s had a scan to see a surgeon on an injury he’s got at the moment, what sort of condition his injury is in, so hopefully fingers crossed for us he won’t be too long but apart from that I think everyone’s in good shape and we have a really good squad to pick from at the moment so long may that continue.”
For the players who weren’t involved last weekend there was a behind closed doors friendly, and the Gaffer says they are important for them to remain sharp and prepared for when they are needed.
“We’re not going to rely on the same 11 players for the season, you know we could probably tell you the team for next week’s game, or this week’s game, but we couldn’t tell you the team for in four weeks’ time because we’ve got some real good players here who were not in the team, not in the match day squad last week, that can play any week for us.
“They have to be physically and mentally ready, that’s why we get these games behind closed doors so they can play because their opportunity will come, but they’ve got to be ready to take it because if they don’t someone else will and I think it’s a healthy environment to be in, and I think it helps the players as well stay on top of their game.”
Kick-off is at 15:00 at Crawley, tickets will be available on the day from The People’s Pension Group Stadium.