Iron boss Russ Wilcox will take nothing for granted ahead of this weekend’s potential promotion-clinching meeting with Exeter City at St James’ Park.Following United’s 1-0 victory over Oxford United at Glanford Park on Easter Monday, the Iron head into the game knowing a point will effectively seal a return to League One at the first time of asking.
Having stretched their unbeaten under Wilcox to 28 games by seeing off the Us in North Lincolnshire, the chances of a slip-up against an Exeter side just two points above the dreaded drop-zone may seem unlikely to many.
However, the Grecians produced one of their best performances of the season to defeat United 4-0 on their own patch back in October, and Wilcox told The Iron Player: “I thought they were outstanding when they came here, and it’s interesting that in the last two games [between the sides] they’ve beaten us 4-0 and 4-1.
“We don’t want that scenario this time, that’s a certainty, but they looked like a good outfit. It just shows you what confidence and belief can do, and how close the division is.
“On any given day, anybody can beat anybody. Again, it’s another really difficult game similar to Torquay and Morecambe – teams fighting for their Football League lives, which is a massive trophy for them.”
With the margins of success so tight at both the top and the bottom of the division, each side enters the contest knowing simply avoiding defeat will almost certainly see their respective targets reached for the season.
That won’t mean a change of emphasis for Wilcox however, and the 50-year-old added: “I think both teams will be quite happy with a point, but we’ll approach the game as we always do.
“We’re going to try and take the three points. That’s the way we’ve gone, and I don’t want to change that belief now within the squad. It’s important we keep it running, but we’ve got to make sure we’re solid at the back.
“We’ll work from that base like we did in the Oxford game, which I thought was one of our best performances of the season. We deserved more than a 1-0, although can’t quite get that second goal at the moment to put teams to be and then it becomes a scary last five minutes again.
“It’s their [Exeter’s] last home game, so it will be a good turn-out I’m sure attendance-wise and a really tough game.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Sam Slocombe and David Mirfin on The Iron Player.