Iron manager Russ Wilcox saluted his players after promotion back to League One was finally confirmed on Saturday despite a 2-0 loss to Exeter City at St James’ Park.Having fallen to their first defeat in 29 games, United faced a nervous few minutes at the final whistle as they waited anxiously for news on Fleetwood Town’s meeting with Southend United.
That news was to eventually come in the form of the Cod Army having been held to a draw by the Shrimpers to seal the Iron’s place in the top three with a game of the regular season to spare, much to the relief of Wilcox and his side.
The fact United were able to wrap up promotion despite losing in Devon is testament to their efforts throughout the campaign, and Wilcox told The Iron Player: “I’ll be honest; I’ve really enjoyed the league.
“Everybody fights tooth and nail for every single point, right up to the 96th or 97th minute, as we’ve seen. You’ve got to give the players at this level so much credit for that.
“It’s been a tough league. You’ve got to be good in both boxes, you’ve got to be big and strong, and we’ve done that over the course of the season.
“I’m so proud of the group.”
The 50-year-old also stressed the importance of laying the foundations for next season as soon as possible, and added: “Now we can plan where we’re going to move the club, where we’re going to take the club now that we’re in League One.
“Hopefully in League One there will be a little bit more football played, but you’ve got to earn the right to play that in this league.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Matt Sparrow and Dave Syers on The Iron Player.