Iron manager Russ Wilcox admitted confirming promotion back to League One on Saturday was just reward for the club’s ‘outstanding’ supporters.Over 600 fans made the lengthy journey down to Devon to cheer on United as they faced an Exeter City side fighting for Football League survival.
Although the Iron eventually fell to their first defeat in 29 games at St James’ Park, their position in the top three was secured courtesy of results elsewhere after promotion rivals Fleetwood Town were held to a point by Southend United.
Such impressive travelling support has been a consistent feature throughout United’s league campaign, and Wilcox told The Iron Player: “I’m so pleased for them that Southend did us a favour, as they’ve been outstanding.
“Over the course of the season we probably deserved that. There’s been a lot of twists and turns with late goals, and a lot of nervousness and edginess which showed [against Exeter] as we’ve not quite got over the line.”
United’s defeat against the Grecians means they now rely on exterior factors going in their favour on the final weekend if they are to complete a historic season by sealing silverware in the form of the League Two title.
The Iron will now go into their home meeting with York City at Glanford Park on Saturday knowing they almost certainly need to register a win to keep that dream alive, with Chesterfield United and Rochdale both a point ahead of Wilcox’s side ahead of games against Fleetwood Town and Newport County respectively.
However, Wilcox is keen to embrace the positives, and added: “Hopefully next weekend it can be a celebration for all the supporters.
“They have been absolutely outstanding; not just the ones who travelled down [to Exeter], but those who have supported us all season. We can play a bit more relaxed next week now, but don’t get me wrong, we want that title.
“It’s out of our hands a little bit now as we need favours, but if we can beat York then who knows?”
See more from Russ Wilcox, Matt Sparrow and Dave Syers on The Iron Player.