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19 December 2014

Iron manager Mark Robins wants a “top performance” from his players as Scunthorpe face Bradford City at Valley Parade on Saturday.

A win for the Iron will make it three in a row in the league, whilst they will also go eight unbeaten in all competitions should they avoid defeat.

Robins said his team are full of confidence going into the game after progressing into the third round of the FA Cup, beating Worcester on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Robins told The Iron Player: “We are back to the league action now with back to back wins and now we are seeing if we can make it three.

“They are a really good side, Bradford. Phil Parkinson has done a great job since he has been there.

"He has had a few years at it now and a cup final and a promotion added to it too. They have a good squad and have added to it well over the years. They’ve got some decent players in there.

“I will pick a team that can deal with the quality they will throw at us. We are on a decent run at the minute and we want to maintain that and keep it going as long as we can do. I am looking for a top performance as that is what is needed."

He continued: “Some of the results and some of the performances we have put in have been excellent. Certainly away from home.

"There’s a lot of confidence that should be taken from the game the other night.

“We should go into the game with energy and enthusiasm and will go to get another three points. Three wins on the bounce in the league will be a great feat.

“Any game in the division is a winnable game and tomorrow is no different. We go there with our thoughts on three points and if we take our ‘A’ game tomorrow we give them a good test.”

The players go into the game off the back of progression into the third round of the FA Cup. The replay with Worcester finished 1-1 after extra time, but the Iron secured their next round tie after winning 14-13 on penalties, Miguel Llera finishing the winning spot kick.

Robins was pleased with what he saw on Wednesday night and praised the players for their energy, efforts and concentration given throughout the 120 minutes, plus penalties.

He said: “It was an interesting one and one that was always going to be a tough game. It’s always a thankless task, we are expected to win. The cameras were there for a different reason. They thought Worcester might go through, obviously we avoided that. We are happy and delighted to have gone though.

“We are looking in decent shape. I’m delighted with the efforts the lads put in the other night, I thought it was terrific. I thought the concentration levels were good and the players were under a huge amount of pressure in the penalties, and the way they took them was outstanding. It’s certainly a pressured situation and I think both clubs have done themselves proud.”

In recent days, the Iron were delighted to announce the loan extension of Liam O’Neil keeping the West Brom midfielder at Glanford Park until January 11. The news is something Robins is very pleased about.

He said: “I think he has done well since he has been here. He has been raring to go.

“He has been ready for first team football and I think he has done well and contributed well so far.

"We would like to thank West Brom against for allowing us to do that. He will get better and better during his stay.

“It’s always good to bring new faces in, it freshens things up. We’ve added a little bit of quality as well. It gives us more numbers with the FA Cup that we are involved in still.

“As you saw the other night, we have to mix and match and put players in different positions that they are not normally known to play, but it is all good experience for them.”

The game against Bradford could see Iron striker Paddy Madden make his 200th career appearance. Robins believes the forward has been excellent this season for United and is deserved of such an impressive feat at the age of 24.

Robins added: “It is significant. It’s a testament to him and his durability. I think what you see is what you get. He works his socks off and he can score goals. He is continually proving that all the time. I think he is deserved of the 200 and surely many more to come.

“He is an important cog, but he can’t do it all on his own so he is reliant on other players also. He sets a tone for us and puts an unbelievable shift in.

"What we get at the moment is everything he can give in terms of energy. His character is a good one. It doesn’t matter where he is on the pitch, he can always create chances and opportunities and I think it isn’t necessarily out of position for him.”

Mark Robins also spoke about Isaiah Osbourne’s contract. He was quick to praise the midfielder, who he wants to keep for longer than his original deal.

“I want to extend Isaiah Osbourne. There’s no doubt about it. We need to put the wheels in motion for that to happen," he added.

“I have spoken to him a bit about it so we are already a little down the line with it.

"I think he brings experience at this level and he is bringing a bit of quality too, when we haven’t got the ball he is terrific.”

See much more from Mark Robins, Sam Slocombe and Paddy Madden on The Iron Player.

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