United striker Paddy Madden believes the Iron will only have themselves to blame if they fall short of automatic promotion this season.With just five games of the regular campaign now remaining, United sit seven points clear of fourth-placed Fleetwood Town after last weekend’s 1-0 win over Torquay United at Plainmoor.
That latest victory saw the Iron stretch their unbeaten run under manager Russ Wilcox to 25 games with the season drawing to a close, and Madden told The Iron Player: “You’d like to think you’re nearly there, being seven points clear with five to play.
“It’s up to ourselves now. If we throw it away at this stage we don’t deserve to go up. We’ll just keep taking each game as it comes, which we’ve done for the last 25, and hopefully get across the line.
“The confidence is flowing around the squad, and Russ has us playing well. The last few games have been about good management and good team spirit when we’ve not been playing so well, in order to grind out results.
“I’m confident we can go the rest of the season unbeaten.”
The win over the Gulls in Devon owed much to the resilience of Wilcox’s side against a team adrift at the foot of the League Two table, and Madden added: “People sometimes think because you’re playing a team lower in the league it’s going to be an easier game.
“Personally, I find it harder playing against those kind of teams. They sit back and park the bus really, so it’s harder to break them down.
“It was a massive win, and just because they’re in a relegation battle doesn’t make the three points any less special.”
In the process of taking all three points against Torquay, United also extended their run of games without conceding to five – leaving them just one short of equally a club record.
By continuing to successfully shut out the opposition, the Iron leave themselves well placed to win tight contests on their charge for promotion, and Madden said: “We’re defending very well as a team, and that comes down to good management from Russ.
“He’s organised us properly, and the back four have been very good – throwing themselves in front of everything. That’s the kind of thing you need to see out some games.
“The way we’re playing, I’m confident if we get a goal we’ll go on to win the game, but it’s time for us to start scoring a few more.”
Next up for United as they look to promotion bid is the visit of a largely resurgent Bury side to Glanford Park on Saturday.
Having spent much of the season languishing towards the bottom of the table, the Shakers have been much improved since David Flitcroft took the managerial reigns in December – having picked up 34 points from his 22 league games in charge.
The Greater Manchester outfit have been steadily moving up the table since Flitcroft’s appointment, and a run of three consecutive wins in recent weeks leaves them with an outside chance of securing an unlikely play-off slot.
Their form has not gone unnoticed by Madden, who added: “They’ll have a bit of pressure on them, but have come out of nowhere really.
“Obviously it’s lucky they’re not in a relegation battle, but they’re playing good football and have won their last three games. They still have a slight chance of getting into the play-offs, so will be fully up for it and I’m expecting a really hard game.
“I’m hoping it will be a good game, and that we get the three points. Russ has been doing work with us again, and telling us what he wants for Saturday.
“We just have to go out and approach the game in the right manner. We can’t get ahead of ourselves as nothing is done yet.
“If we keep going out with the right attitude how we have been, we should see ourselves over the line.”
See much more from Paddy Madden, David Mirfin, Paul Hayes and Russ Wilcox on The Iron Player.