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Club News

THE TIME TO GRIND OUT WINS

11 April 2014

Sam Slocombe saved his fifth penalty of the season on Saturday, helping Scunthorpe to their twentieth clean sheet – the highest in League Two.

The 25-year-old still insists this does not matter, as long as the three points are gained. He wants to avoid taking all the plaudits and is quick to thank the rest of his teammates for their efforts.

“I’m definitely proud to have the most in the league,” he said.

“But as I keep stressing, it’s not just me, it’s also the other ten lads on the pitch. They’ve been solid and organised all season and will always give it their all."

Scunthorpe are now level on points and goal difference with league leaders Rochdale, and Slocombe thinks now is a realistic time to be aiming for the title.

He added: “I think two wins will see us up but considering the position we’re in and the games left, the title should be our goal now. As long as we perform to our best we should gain promotion, but nothing is done yet.

"There’s no reason why we can’t win the title but promotion was, and still is the main priority. But if we get that sewn up nice and early I would like to go for the league."

The Scunthorpe captain believes being crowned champions will be a just reward for both the club and fans alike.

He said: “The fans have been fantastic and no doubt they’ll want to see us win the league, which is what we want to give them.

"I’d like to thank the away fans especially, as League Two provides us with some long, treacherous journeys. It’s credit to them that we’ve managed to keep the record on our travels this season.

Scunthorpe have often showed the credentials of a title-winning side this season, says Slocombe. The shotstopper explained how the weekend victory summed up the character of the squad this term.

He stated: “Torquay was always going to be difficult as they’re playing for their careers let alone staying in the Football League. To grind that 1-0 win out really shows a lot about our character and endeavour.

"The games where you’re not quite at it will always define your position in the table. These are the ones where you’re not at your best but still pick up wins – they’re the points that’ll crown you champions. The question is: if you’re not quite at it, can you still get the win? We’ve done that and it’s credit to the squad and the fans for sticking with us."

The Iron had Slocombe to thank for maintaining the three points, with the goalkeeper diving low to save Dale Tonge’s spot kick. He says there is no real secret behind his success in thwarting penalties, and claims a lot of it is down to watching the taker throughout the game.

He stated: “It’s just a case of looking at the player that’s going to take it and seeing their tendencies and how they address the ball. To me it’s all about being bold to make sure they don’t go down the middle; standing there until the last moment then picking a side and committing to it."

The result at the weekend marked Wilcox’s 25th game unbeaten in the start of his time as Scunthorpe boss. This equals Andre Villas Boas’ world record at Porto, something that does not surprise his number one goalkeeper.

Read much more from Sam Slocombe in Saturday's edition of THE IRON.

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