Iron manager Russ Wilcox was highly upbeat, despite his side’s 1-0 defeat to Reading in the second round of the Capital One Cup.The goal came five minutes from time, with United largely dominating the whole of play, yet it was the Royals who took their chance to progress to Round Three in a typical snatch and grab evening at Glanford Park on the return of Nigel Adkins and Andy Crosby.
“I think you’ve hit the nail on the head,” Wilcox told The Iron Player when asked whether the better team lost.
“I thought we were outstanding tonight from start to finish. It was always going to be difficult and I thought half time came too soon for us. We were the team on the top. We knew they’d make changes and we spoke at half time about making sure we got back up to that level.”
“They wouldn’t have been very happy at half time and I thought they’d come out all guns blazing, but to be fair we were the better side for 90 minutes tonight.”
Wilcox made four changes going into the fixture, opting to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, with it largely working against the Championship outfit – only a late strike from substitute Jake Taylor progressing the Berkshire club into the next round.
“I think that’s probably the best performance since I’ve been in charge,” declared the Iron gaffer.
“If you’re talking about football, being good in both boxes, doing the basics right, it has to be the case. I was disappointed with the goal, I thought the lad was all over Niall and I think it was a foul, but it’s one of those things.”
He added: “It’s not quite happening for us at the moment, but if we play like that and work as hard as we did tonight, we will win football matches.”
Scunthorpe created the most chances, with most requiring good saves from Adam Federici, while some took unlucky deflections just on the wrong side of the framework.
“We just lack that killer instinct up front at the moment,” he continued.
“Some of the play tonight and the movement was outstanding. I asked the lads before the game to be brave. We had to play more football compared with Saturday and that was my thinking in putting Gary McSheffrey in that little pocket behind Paddy. He’s played the early part of his career up front, so that wasn’t a problem to him.
“We got some good balls into him and he’s very creative and dangerous. From Bobby in goal, right through to Paddy up front, I just think it was an absolutely outstanding performance.”
He added: “I’m just gutted for the lads and for the supporters that we’re not in the next round, because we deserve to be.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.