United manager Russ Wilcox was elated that his team secured promotion back to League One at their first attempt on Saturday.The Iron lost 2-0 to Exeter City – their first defeat in Wilcox’s twenty-nine-game-reign as Iron boss - but due to Southend holding Fleetwood to a 1-1 draw were promoted nevertheless.
Wilcox did speak about United’s performance, admitting that it wasn’t their finest of the year; but mainly focused upon the “bigger picture,” United’s promotion.
“We have to look at the bigger picture, but we were awful today,” he stated to The Iron Player.
“It was the worst we’ve played in twenty-nine games.
“You have to look at Exeter in the two games against us, and I’m scratching my head to see how they’re fighting a relegation battle.”
The Iron boss also suggested that it was always likely in his opinion that eighty-points would see United up. The Iron reached that tally by beating Oxford 1-0 on Monday, but had to wait until today to confirm their place in League One next year.
“The bigger picture is eighty points,” he continued.
“Eighty points has been enough – we spoke about that two or three months ago.
“And, that’s been enough to get us over the line.”
The manager also reserved special praise for the spirit of Scunthorpe United. The Iron have enjoyed some tough times in recent years, but Wilcox suggested that the way in which the club has pulled together this season has played a crucial part in the team’s on-field success.
“Everybody has played a part – the players, the staff, the supporters, the chairman and directors,” he assessed.
“The chairman and directors especially helped us in January and, in a nutshell, it’s been a massive team effort.
“It was a strange feeling, and it was an awful feeling in the last three minutes when they told us Fleetwood still had three minutes to play.”
Indeed, the Iron’s game finished three-minutes before Fleetwood’s 1-1 draw with Southend ended, thus confirming the Iron’s promotion – a time during which the United squad waited anxiously on the pitch for news.
“But it was a great feeling at the end of the game to hear the cheer of the fans.”
Scunthorpe’s promotion also marked them winning promotion back to League One a year to the weekend since they were relegated from the same league – a great feat in the manager’s eyes.
“I’m a very proud man of the way we’ve bounced back at first attempt,” he added.
“It’s a very difficult league.
“Out of the game today we’ve deserved nothing and we’ve got nothing.
“But we’ve got promoted.”
Ironic enough. However, after a twenty-eight game unbeaten run, the Iron are good-value for their promotion.
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Dave Syers and Matt Sparrow on The Iron Player.