United’s next game against Oxford United comes around quickly, giving the Iron a chance to settle promotion back to League One on their own turf.That’s the view of manager Russ Wilcox who, despite being disappointed that his side failed to keep a lead at Morecambe, is looking forward to the challenge that Oxford will pose as they look to reach their season’s goal.
“We’ve got to do it,” Wilcox stated to The Iron Player.
“It would be fitting to do it at home. The support we’ve had, home and away this season, has been outstanding.
"You look at the support at Morecambe and you can only label it as outstanding. This football club has had three tough years and to be up at the top of the league with three games to play is great.”
He added: “We just have to make sure we get over that line.”
Nearly 1,200 supporters made the trip to the Globe Arena to cheer on United – a figure which made up nearly half of the crowd. Compare that to the 73 supporters that Morecambe brought to Glanford Park earlier in the campaign and Scunthorpe United’s faithful can only be commended.
“It’s been a tough journey across to Morecambe for them,” he continued.
“As I said before the game, I’m pleased we were granted permission to come overnight and we thank the board for that. People have sat in the traffic for four or five hours for what should be a two-and-a-half hour journey.”
He added: “Massive credit goes to the Scunthorpe support today; we’re disappointed we haven’t managed to reward them with three points, but hopefully we can do that for them on Monday.”
Oxford will arrive at Glanford Park having just exited the play-offs after a 1-0 defeat against York City which saw the Minstermen replace them. In that respect, the game is likely to be a more open affair than the terraces have been used to in recent weeks, with a point not good enough for the U’s.
“We’ve done our cool down after the game against Morecambe and had ice baths as well,” he explained.
“I want to give the lads Saturday off and we’ll be in on Sunday with a light session and we’ll prepare to go again on Monday. We have looked at Oxford briefly, but only in snippets because we had to be fully focused on the game against Morecambe.”
He added: “I’ll look at some clips on Saturday and feed those back to the lads on Sunday and we’ll go from there.”
The game may again come too soon for Sean McAllister and Gary McSheffrey, both of which watched the game with the travelling supporters in the seated section of the away end. However, Wilcox expects all of his players involved in the Morecambe game to be okay when they report back on Sunday.
“I think we’re okay,” he stated.
“It’s just a little bit of hurt pride from the game. We’re so disappointed we haven’t picked up three points, but we’ve been challenged and tested before and we certainly haven’t made it easy for ourselves this season. The lads will regroup, remain positive and we’ll go again on Monday.
“Gary McSheffrey and Sean McAllister being in the away end today tells you everything about this football club. It’s positive times for this football club and we have to make sure that doesn’t become a negative. Fifteen games we’ve travelled around the country and not been beaten. That’s a third of a season – or two thirds of our away campaign.”
He added: “It hurts that it’s a late goal again and I’m sure it hurts the supporters, but we can quickly turn that negative into a positive when we go again on Monday.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Matt Sparrow and Sam Winnall on The Iron Player.