Iron manager Russ Wilcox has challenged his players to produce the same kind of performance that was seen against Reading as United prepare to welcome Walsall to Glanford Park.Scunthorpe were beaten 1-0 by the Royals and exited the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening but Wilcox was delighted with the way the team dealt with their Championship opposition.
And he’s now looking for more of the same as the squad go in search of their first three point haul of the League One season.
He told The Iron Player: “We’ve got to produce a performance like we did on Tuesday night, that’s my challenge to the players.
“We haven’t put two positive back too back performances together this season and if we can produce the same kind of performance that we did on Tuesday then we’ll win football matches.
“It will be a tough game against Walsall. They know the division well and they have an outstanding manager in my eyes with the budget he’s had to work with over the last few years.
“He’s done a superb job and they’re a team that like to pass the ball around so we’ve got to be on our metal and if we can play the way we did against Reading against Walsall then I’ll be really disappointed not to get three points.”
Both teams head into Saturday’s clash looking for their first league victory of the season in what is sure to be a fiercely contested fixture in North Lincolnshire.
Dean Smith’s Saddlers have drawn three and lost one of their opening four games and Wilcox believes that United need to be more clinical in the final third if the club are to record their first divisional triumph of the campaign.
“Every game is important but were at home so this one is especially crucial,” he continued.
“They’ve had three draws out of their four games and no wins and we’ve only got one point so it’s a big game.
“They’ve scored two league goals this season and so have we so we’ve both not really been hot at the top end of the pitch and that was the only really disappointment from Tuesday.
“Our work in the final third was good apart from our finishing touch. We need to be more clinical in front of goal and if we can achieve that then we’ll win games.”
Walsall have comfortably survived in the third tier over the last couple of seasons and the Iron boss therefore knows that it’s not going to be an easy game for Scunthorpe on Saturday afternoon.
The Midlands club have suffered a similar fate United in terms of injuries this season and Wilcox feels that it’s always going to take its toll on smaller squads.
He added: “Dean has lost a few key players and has got a few injuries as well which does take its toll on small squads.
“It showed with us. We had injuries right down our spine but luckily we’ve been fortunate enough to bring in quality players.
“Walsall haven’t been able to do that so Dean has done a terrific job with the budget he’s had. He’s beg, borrowed and stole players very well over the last few years.
“It’s certainly not going to be an easy game, we know that.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.