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A TEAM TO BE PROUD OF

3 March 2014

Iron manager Russ Wilcox lavished praise on his team as they made it 18 games unbeaten with a 2-2 draw at Newport County.

The results keeps his side second as they look to seal automatic promotion, and though United were pegged back in stoppage time it's had no effect on the spirit in the camp.


“We’re unbeaten since November, and we’re now moving into March. They are so together, and so committed, and the Scunthorpe United fans should be very proud of what’s out there at the moment," he told The iron Player.

“We now have a group of people proud and privileged to pull on that shirt, and it’s showing. We’re not winning every game, but we compete to win and roll our sleeves up and give 100 per cent each week.”


The primary reason for United not settling into the usual rhythm earlier was the state of the pitch, the condition of which did not allow for slick passing moves.


More pertinently, Wilcox stressed concern for player safety, and said: “You’ve got softs bits, you’ve got hard bits, you’ve got sandy bits, and in the far corner they have dug out channels to deal with the drainage. What that’s done, for me, is make it dangerous.


“You can’t stand on there, and when you do, all that happens is your foot moves away so I’m surprised there’s not been injuries out there today.”


Having utilised the knowledge of the pitch possessed by Michael Collins – who featured for AFC Wimbledon against Newport on Tuesday – Wilcox opted to make two changes to his starting line-up as Christian Ribeiro and Terry Hawkridge replaced Gary McSheffrey and Hakeeb Adelakun.


Explaining those alterations, Wilcox added: “We tried to make ourselves bigger by bringing Christian back into the team, plus Gary McSheffrey has a little back complaint.


“He was hoping he would be ok today, and that’s why he travelled otherwise I would have left him at home. He’s had issues with it before, and he felt it in the last 10 minutes on Tuesday night.


“I asked him on the side if he could give me half an hour and he was very honest and said no, but hopefully he should be ok for next Saturday against Northampton. Again, I like his honesty, and we’ve made other changes.”


One of those substitutions saw the introduction of defender Luke Waterfall for the final five minutes in place of leading marksman Sam Winnall, with the intention of seeing out the remainder of the game.


United would be unable to do so however, and Wilcox added: "The changes we made at the end saw us change our system, and people may look at that, but the late goal is not down to systems.


“It’s down to a set-play, and we’re disappointed, having made ourselves bigger [with Waterfall’s introduction]. It’s the third phase of the corner; we’ve lost the first, second, and third phase, but it’s a terrific finish from the lad although his boots are very close to Christian’s face.


“I’d be disappointed if a goal like that got disallowed, but I’ve seen it happen before. I’m just really pleased with the group.”

 

The result sees United end their run of three matches within a week with a total of five points, and Wilcox admitted: “You’re never happy, you always want more, but I’m greedy.


“I’m just happy with the people I’m working with. It was a big test for us second half; probably a bigger one than Accrington in a different way, because it’s the mental aspect.”


"The lads showed a physical side, as well as bravery. We were very, very brave second half, so I’m very pleased. We move on to Northampton with another point, and it’s 18 unbeaten now which is a record everybody should be really proud of.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox, Paddy Madden and Sean McAllister on The Iron Player.


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