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15:00 22nd March 2016

Scunthorpe United have appointed Graham Alexander as first team manager.

The 44-year-old signs a three-and-a-half year contract and will take charge for the first time at Barnsley on Good Friday.

He will be assisted by Nick Daws (assistant manager) and Andy Dawson (first team coach).

The appointment sees Alexander return to Glanford Park, where he began his playing career. He made his debut in April 1991 after coming through our youth ranks. He made 159 league appearances for United, scoring 18 goals.

Similarly successful spells at Luton Town, Preston North End and Burnley followed for the full-back/midfielder, while Alexander also picked up 40 caps playing internationally for Scotland. In April 2011, Alexander made his 1,000th senior appearance for club and country. Only fellow ex-Iron Tony Ford has matched this feat as an outfield player.

After a spell coaching at Preston, he began his managerial career with Fleetwood Town in December 2012, where he spent almost three years, and guided them to promotion via the League Two play-offs in May 2014.

Alexander told “Just coming up the motorway there, the butterflies started coming as soon as I could see the floodlights coming into view. I realised it was 28 years since I made that first drive as a 16-year-old and I feel as excited as I did then. It’s fantastic to be back.

“I heard about the new stadium, which is in the pipeline, and I remember coming here to Glanford Park when it was brand new. It’s amazing; not just for the infrastructure of the club, but also where the team wants to go.

“I’m an ambitious guy, I want to win things. The guys in charge at the club are exactly the same and I’m sure we’ll do great things here.

“There are a lot of good players in this squad without a doubt. For whatever reason it hasn’t fulfilled its potential this season, but that’s my remit – to come and assess, and try to improve it.

“Any manager when he comes into a new club has to look at where he needs to put his stamp on things, and get the players to enjoy their football and play as well as they can.

“It’s been a whirlwind last couple of days. When any manager gets a new job they just want to get on the training pitch and be with the players. I’m really looking forward to meeting them on Wednesday, and the staff too ahead of that.

“We’re all in the same boat, we all want Scunthorpe to do well.”

Iron chairman Peter Swann added: “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve felt it quite important that, if we were to have a manager in place, now would be a good time.

“It made a lot of sense. We have nine games remaining this season and we’ll do whatever can be done within that, but it will give him a chance to get organised for the summer, target any new players and plan what we need to do for pre-season training.

“I’ve been out there and interviewed a few people and felt Graham was one of the best candidates for the job. I’m looking forward to Graham starting work, which begins with the game at Barnsley on Good Friday.

“Nick Daws and Andy Dawson have done a fantastic job, and have been very professional. They are still very much a big part of the football club.

“The priority has been to put someone in permanently. In the end, it’s a difficult decision as a chairman to appoint anybody. Graham has the advantage of three years’ managerial experience under him, through our league and below. He has an affinity with Scunthorpe, which is good as well having started his career with us, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

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