Central midfielder Sean McAllister scored his first goal in over a year as he fired in the Iron’s third goal in the victory over Leicester City at Glanford Park on Saturday.He played the full 90 minutes in the final match before the start of the season and capped his performance with his first goal since the 24th July 2013, which was in a pre-season match against Bottesford Town prior to the start of last season.
McAllister, known more for his tackling and ball distribution rather than his goal scoring, was pleased to get on the score sheet and help his side to a 3-1 win.
He told The Iron Player: “It’s been a while, so I’m obviously delighted with that (the goal). I think it was last pre-season- the last time I scored (away at Bottesford).
“The 4-3-3 we played in the second half gave me more licence to go forward. When we’re playing 4-4-2 my role is more defensive, protecting the back four so I don’t get as much of an opportunity to get forward.
“I don’t mind which formation it is and I’m pleased to get on the score sheet.”
The Iron didn’t have the match all their own way as the youthful Leicester side gave Russ Wilcox’s side a stern, competitive test before the start of their League One campaign, which begins next weekend against Swindon Town.
Jacob Blyth opened the scoring for the Foxes from the penalty spot, but a swift response saw the Iron overcome their lively opponents with goals from Miguel Llera, Lyle Taylor and McAllister.
The spirited nature of the game saw some full bloodied challenges going in all over the pitch and McAllister believes that this was a good way for his side to prepare for the season.
He said: “It’s good to have that passion in the game and you’ve got to make sure you’re at it otherwise you could get injured. That’s not a side of the game that I’m shy of though and I was happy to get the tackles in.”
McAllister was also impressed with the quality of the Leicester side.
He said: “They’re young players but they’re good players!
“They wouldn’t be at a club like Leicester if they didn’t have the talent. What young players bring is a lot of energy and you could see that in the first half an hour when it was quite an even game.
“We changed it up a bit second half which allowed us to move through the lines a bit better and we moved the ball well and it was also good to get three goals.”
This summer’s pre-season has seen the Iron squad stay, on the whole, fit and injury free as they prepare for the new campaign, with the injury to David Mirfin being the only exception.
United’s goal scoring midfielder McAllister knows how important keeping the squad as fresh as possible is, and thinks the side are benefitting from this, as well as also receiving a lift from their new signings.
He said: “The majority of players have stayed fit and healthy. We’ve also got the quality of players that have come in, like Miguel (Llera) and Miles (Addison).
“A few of the other pre-season games we created the chances but didn’t take them, whereas today we did take those chances. It’s definitely a confidence builder going into next weekend against Swindon where hopefully we can get off the mark with a win.”
Next weekend’s season opener against Swindon Town is a 15:00 kick off and Sean McAllister was in an optimistic frame of mind when asked if he could score his second goal in a week when the sides meet at the County Ground.
He exclaimed: “Never say never!”
See much more from Sean McAllister, and others, on The Iron Player.