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WE OWE THE FANS

18 August 2014

Russ Wilcox is looking forward to his side returning to the field against Fleetwood on Tuesday night.

Preston were 4-0 winners at Glanford Park at the weekend and Tuesday sees the Iron host Graham Alexander’s Cod Army, who made it two wins from two with a 1-0 win at Notts County on Saturday.

After a loss, sometimes a quick turnaround is what is needed for a team to recover and the Scunthorpe manager hinted at changes to his team for the visit of the Cod Army.

“We’ll see about changes, I’ll look at the footage of the game and see what we need to improve,” a disappointed Wilcox told The Iron Player.

“The first port of call is to be better when we are without the ball. We addressed this after the Swindon game and we were compact and solid without the ball but we were too open against Preston, too expansive at times."

Wilcox clearly felt let down by his team, especially after they showed such resilience to come from Swindon’s season opening loss to beat Blackburn Rovers in the Capital One Cup.

He added: “When you’re 1-0 down chasing the game, you still have to make sure you are solid at the back when you lose the ball and we took too many chances and it allowed Preston to punish us.”

James Severn was the goalkeeper on the day, after Sam Slocombe failed to recover from a problem sustained in the League Cup win.

Wilcox said: “Sam missed the game because of the shoulder injury he picked up at Blackburn.

“It was sore on Wednesday and Thursday and he wasn’t quite there when he had a fitness test four hours before kick-off and you can’t take risks with that position, they have to be 100%.

“I felt for James (Severn) who came in there in his place with the opportunity to impress and he wasn’t at fault for any of the goals, but you feel for him conceding four times, he did not deserve that.
 
“It was a bit of a baptism of fire for him, if we scored first when we had early opportunities, it would have been better for him because we could have sat back a little and got behind the ball exactly like Preston did.”

Simon Grayson’s side, who are one of the division’s promotion favourites, dominated the Iron and two goals from former loan man Joe Garner helped North End along the way to three points, along with an own goal from Miguel Llera and Chris Humphrey, who netted on 48 minutes.

“We have to be more street-wise, adaptable and to be able to manage periods better,” Wilcox added, after just his third league defeat as manager of the Claret and Blue.

“When we are 1-0 down we have to make sure we don’t panic, which we’ve done in the two games. We went chasing at 1-0 when there’s still a lot of time left to play, then it was two.

“I’m so disappointed we conceded after half-time, we spoke at 2-0 how important the next goal was and we came out in the second half and put them on the back foot straight away. We got a corner within 20 seconds to try create pressure and get the fans behind us, which the fans did.”

He also had special praise for the Glanford Park faithful, who travelled in their numbers to Swindon and Blackburn before supporting United against Preston. 

“They stuck with us through the game when it was a difficult match for them," he said.

“We were unbeaten at home since November and we owe them from that performance. Luckily we have Tuesday to try make it up and give them what they deserve.

“The most disappointing thing is we’ve conceded seven goals in two games. We need to have a base to work from and we will certainly be working hard on the training ground to address that and put in a much better performance on Tuesday night.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.

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