Late arrival puts Neil under pressure

NEIL Alexander is hoping his wife Joanne delivers so he can be produce the goods on the pitch against Coventry City this Saturday.The Scotland international keeper is in danger of losing his place after a below-par performance at West Brom with manager Jim Magilton ready to bring in Shane Supple.

By Derek Davis

NEIL Alexander is hoping his wife Joanne delivers so he can be produce the goods on the pitch against Coventry City this Saturday.

The Scotland international keeper is in danger of losing his place after a below-par performance at West Brom with manager Jim Magilton ready to bring in Shane Supple.

The Alexanders' second child was due last Saturday, with the couple thinking she was going to arrive early almost a month ago when Town were preparing to play at Watford.


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But last night there was still no sign and Magilton admitted he was considering making a tough call even though he sympathised with his keeper.

Magilton said: “It is a horrible situation people looking at him knowing he is waiting on the baby coming.

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“Sometimes in football that degree in honesty is not there because they are desperate to play and not let anyone down.

“Neil feels he can cope but if performances dip then I have to make a change, and that is the same all over the park.”

Magilton has no worries about bringing in 20-year-old Supple, who has 36 Town appearances under his belt already.

He said: “Shane is close to a recall. Just because we bring someone in, that doesn't give them a God-given right to start every game.

“If he is not playing well then Shane is there waiting. He deserves the opportunity and we will assess the situation.”

It is not just ex-Cardiff City keeper Alexander whose position is under threat with Dan Harding, who is also suffering some personal problems, under scrutiny as well.

Magilton warned: “Dan has played every game but his performance on Saturday was not great, either. If performances from anyone don't match what we expect then we have to change things.”

After being pleased with his defence in the early part of the season Magilton was not impressed on Saturday with any of the goals conceded.

He said: “I wasn't particularly happy with the goals at West Brom.

“For the first time in a long time we looked shoddy. For a long time we looked disjointed at the back, defending as four individuals and that was not characteristic of us, especially that back four who have been together for six months or so.

“I can't be too harsh on them but I feel we paid the price, although it is not a time to panic.

“We have a good home game coming up and I expect us to come out on top.

“It's up to us to have a right go on Saturday.

The Town manager is also asking more from summer signing Tommy Miller, who has yet to find the net on his return from Sunderland, although his general game has been decent.

Magilton said: “Tommy relishes his responsibility to the team although we would like him to take more of a chance getting forward. He is 28, with bags of experience, but he is still bedding in and coming to terms playing with different players.

“While his contribution is good we brought Tommy in to get goals so we expect a little more from him and he knows that.”

Blues fans are reminded that the Town game at home to Coventry City on Saturday kicks off at 5.20pm for television purposes.

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