United manager Russ Wilcox takes his squad on the longest away trip of the league season this weekend as they take on Yeovil Town.The Glovers endured two successive league defeats, but managed to turn over Walsall in midweek, but will be keen to not lose at Huish Park for the second game in a row.
“They got their first points earlier in the week,” he told The Iron Player.
“That was a good win for them and gives them a bit more confidence and belief. I think if we can take the performance, not the result, to Yeovil we will certainly be a lot better.
“I was disappointed with the goals and we’ve addressed that. We’ve done a lot of work this (Thursday) morning stopping the ball coming into our box and when it does being able to make the first contact. We’ve just got to keep working hard and get the basics right – that’s what the goals are boiling down to.
“If you look at the two goals we conceded, can we do better? The answer is yes, so we’ve just got to keep working hard and doing the drills. We’ve looked at both boxes, being creative and putting opportunities in the back of the net when they arrive and stop the opposition creating opportunities.”
He added: “It’s a simple game when you break it down.”
It was something by his own admission his side did so well last season, yet with a selection of goals conceded coming in this way, the Scunthorpe boss has reverted his side to focusing on both boxes.
“I think there are two things,” he continued.
“I don’t think we are doing it as well as we can, so we’ve got to be critical of ourselves and make sure we improve on that. We’re also getting better quality coming into the box. We haven’t had a game where – no disrespect – Mansfield or Newport are chucking the ball in from anywhere.
“Teams are better at this level and are playing down the side and the deliveries are much better into the box – just like the first goal against Fleetwood. From their point of view, they’ve put it in the corridor between the goalkeeper and centre half. Proctor has got around the back and scored.
“From their side of it, it is a good goal; from our side it’s disappointing. We should be looking to first and foremost stop the cross and if it comes in; to be first to the ball.
“There are always things to work on, whether things are going well or not so well. The other thing to focus on is the mental side of things. We have to keep the players buoyant about themselves. They’ve gone from a massive high of promotion last season to all of a sudden having a difficult start to the season.”
He added: “We have to keep addressing those things mentally and on the training ground and it will turn and the only way it will turn is with hard work."
The hosts at Huish Park will be looking to make sure they don’t endure déjà vu on home soil after an opening day defeat to Doncaster Rovers, who were relegated from the Championship alongside the Glovers.
“It’s the same with us, they won’t want to lose two (home games) on the bounce,” Wilcox told The Iron Player.
“We’ve now lost two on the bounce at home, but before the game against Preston, we hadn’t lost at Glanford Park since November which was a fantastic record and something we should be very proud of.”
“It’s looking back at times which you can’t do as we’re moving forward. Now and again you do have to keep revisiting; what did we do well last year? We made contact on the ball when it came in our box and in the opposition’s box. How did we score goals? How did we create chances? We now have to take that into the next few games."
See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.