09:00 17th February 2017
by Jack Gallagher
Iron manager Graham Alexander has urged his team to play with “composure” in Saturday’s clash with Sheffield United.
We travel to Bramall Lane for a top-of-the-table clash in Sky Bet League One, but Alexander believes it’s important to play the game not the occasion.
Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD ahead of the game, Alexander said: “It’s the top two teams in League One, and we’re going over there into a fantastic stadium to produce a performance we feel can win the game.
“It’s one we can look forward to, but it’s the next one. It’s three points, and we have to take the periphery out of the occasion.
“It’ll be competitive, it’ll be aggressive, but we have to play with a composure in our game, as well as matching the challenge in front of us.”
Analysing the test which awaits against the Blades, Alexander understands the quality of the opposition. However, he stated he has immense level of belief in his own squad’s ability.
“Every team carries a threat, and Sheffield United have got theirs,” stated Alexander.
“They’re at the top for a reason, and Billy (Sharp) is one of many good players they have within their ranks.
“We know what type of game it will be, and how tough it will be, but what we have to do is make sure it’s tough for Sheffield United as well.
“We’re going there to compete at the right level, and play our game.”
Alexander does though feel the event in itself will be a big one, and admitted it’s a contest everyone at the club is relishing.
“These are the type of games you think about competing in when you’re a kid,” he explained.
“They’re the moments the players have worked extremely hard to get to, and they’ve got to go there and do themselves justice - which is what we intend to do.”
On the injury front, the Scunthorpe boss revealed Sam Mantom could play some part this weekend after his recent groin injury lay-off.
However, one man who definitely won’t feature is Jordan Clarke. However, despite his absence, Alexander says the 25-year-old is making good progress following a hamstring injury.
Alexander revealed: “Sam Mantom will train on Thursday after two and a half weeks out, so we’ll see how he is in training.
“We might have Sam available, we might not - we’ll just have to see how he is.
“Jordan (Clarke) is the other lad who has missed out, and he isn’t joining in training until Monday.”
See much more from Graham Alexander, Stephen Dawson and Levi Sutton on The Iron PlayerHD.