United returned to League One with some symmetry, facing their last opponents at this level.This time, Swindon Town reversed the score-line, meaning the Iron left the County Ground with a 3-1 opening day defeat.
The hosts netted twice inside the first quarter hour, doing the damage early on. A sickener on the stroke of half time after the Iron had looked like drawing level following Madden’s goal put the result to bed.
Paddy Madden notched his first of the season in a positive game on a personal note for the Irishman and he told The Iron Player that this is what League One is all about.
“It’s obviously disappointing getting beaten in your first game. The slow start killed us," he said.
“I think you can see the difference now from League Two to League One. Teams are going to punish you if you give them opportunities.
“You can take it as a wakeup call. I don’t think any of the lads did get into the comfort zone. If anyone was – people sometimes think that League Two and League One are quite similar, if that was in anyone’s mind, they’ve got a rude awakening.
“Luckily we have the game Tuesday to try and bounce back.”
Having netted once, the Iron missed several opportunities to claw back to a level. Gary McSheffrey went close, as did Madden himself. The Irishman was pleased to have opened his account but disappointed not to have at least doubled his tally on the day. Opportunities spurned proved costly following that late 1st half goal from Town.
He said: “With the confidence that I have in myself I should have scored that header that I had in the second half.
“You can’t score everything as a striker but I’d have backed myself with that.
“We fought back and showed good character in the first half, got the goal and possibly believed we could have gone in at half time ahead.
“We missed a couple of chances and gave them the third with a bit of sloppy play which does almost kill you off a bit when you’ve been looking like going ahead. This is the quality that League One brings.”
The squad now have first-hand indicators from their maiden competitive outing of the season as to what needs work going forward into Blackburn in the League Cup on Tuesday evening, and beyond. United’s number nine knows that preparations will be thorough.
He stated: “We have to try and keep the ball a bit better in the opening stages and even put them under the cosh by putting it into the channels; put them on the back foot a bit.
“Russ will have us working on Monday, he knows his stuff so he’ll prepare us right.
“Hopefully we can go there and get a result. It’s the first game of the season. We won’t be too critical on ourselves.
“It’s a defeat but if you get too critical at this early stage then you’ll just keep losing.”
See much more from Paddy Madden, and others, on The Iron Player.