Iron assistant manager Ned Kelly believes the late equaliser against Bradford has given the squad a boost going into the Christmas period.Hakeeb Adelakun scored in stoppage time to level the game at 1-1, extending the Iron’s unbeaten run to eight games.
With games coming up against Rochdale and Sheffield United in quick succession, Kelly says the late goal will give the squad the extra confidence going into the busy festive period.
Kelly said: “We had a fantastic second half performance from the players. With such a late goal, it gives everybody such a boost. We have quite a clean bill of health following on from the Bradford game.
“We are very pleased and the game at the weekend I would argue was our best 45 minutes since we’ve been here, and having played the cup game only a few days before, it was pleasing to see the fitness levels first and foremost and how well we did play."
“We were very unfortunate not to have won,” he added.
With two games in three days, Kelly says the whole squad will have to be utilised with the quick turnaround of games. The squad will be training both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in preparation for the games, but Kelly says the team are aware of the importance regarding the next few fixtures.
He said: “We will have to see if everybody comes through the Rochdale game. Mirfin is available, as is Canavan, they will be within the squad as they were at the weekend so if needs be, they are ready.
“We will have to use everybody with the games being Friday, then Sunday. It is a very quick turnaround. But that is football. You hope for no injuries. You hope for a very good first result and then you look at the second game in its own merits.
“We are in on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day and hopefully we will be ready for the Rochdale game. It’s part and parcel. It’s just what it is. Everybody knows in this profession and trade that this is what it is.”
He continued: “We are going to start nice and early so they can get to their families. The games are vitally important and the players are well aware of that.
“They have been very proactive in how they have approached everything for us. The manager has got plenty of different ideas in how to break teams down and how we are going to set up.
“Formations have changed slightly in a few of the games and in fairness to the players, they have been asked to do slightly different jobs at certain times and they have been absolutely brilliant in what they have been trying to do.”
The Iron’s first match of the festive period is Rochdale at Glanford Park on Boxing Day, a team the Iron have been keeping an eye on in recent games as they prepare for the match.
Kelly said: “It’s great for the supporters. Obviously a home game on Boxing Day, the travel expenses isn’t so bad. Sheffield on the Sunday is only down the road too which isn’t so bad. That’s good news for everybody. That doesn’t bother me.
“We take each game as it comes. We went to see them last week against Aldershot and they are decent team with decent players so we are looking forward to a good game.
“I’ve only seen them a couple of times this season. Keith Hill is a very good manager. Extremely experienced at varying levels and he obviously has a good work ethic within his team.”
He continued: “They play very well, very quickly. They’ve got a little bit of rotation up front. They tend to drop the sitting midfielder into a back three.
“He’s very proactive. I was quite impressed by the way they played last week. We will have a look at a couple of more clips over the next few days to put up a plan for us to beat them.
“We want to win both games. First and foremost, we will focus on the Rochdale game. Then we will get to Sheffield United afterwards. Just take one game at a time. At home, the supporters have been brilliant for us, so we hope to get them three points.”
See much more from Ned Kelly, Richard Brindley and Marcus Williams on The Iron Player.