Returning loan player James Alabi is relishing the challenge to aid United to promotion starting with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.He and his teammates face a long trip to the side in second position in the current form table, with the Pilgrims set to pose a significant challenge to threaten United’s 20 game unbeaten run.
“The duration of the journey is not on my mind,” Alabi told The Iron Player.
“Someone told me it will take around six hours, but I just want to make sure we go there in a good frame of mind and get three points and allow for a good journey home.”
The game also gives the Iron the chance to create a cushion between themselves and eighth place which, if Scunthorpe are to look that low, would almost confirm a top seven finish.
“It’s a good chance for us to do that (extend the gap),” he said.
“We know exactly what we have to go there and do to get the three points.”
He added: “We have to go there all guns blazing and ready to battle for the points.”
Speaking on his return to the club, it was always a move open to him, especially under manager Russ Wilcox – who helped persuade him back to Glanford Park.
“I’m happy to be back, it feels great to be back at the club,” he continued.
“It’s a better scenario this season obviously. I know Russ really well from last season and obviously Brian Laws was my manager but I did a lot of my work with Russ and to be able to come back and work under him was ideal for me.”
He added: “I was always hoping to come back. I’d spoken to Russ earlier (in the season), but for whatever reason it didn’t happen, but it’s nice to get it sorted.”
Alabi’s debut back in February last year was his first professional game and one in which he netted his debut – and so far only professional – goal. While it is a big opportunity to add to that tally, the strong centre forward is eager to help United back into League One at the first time of asking.
He was thrown straight back into the side’s matchday squad for Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Southend United, replacing Sam Winnall mid-way through the second half and almost producing de ja vu in front of the home end and drawing a smart stop from 17-year old goalkeeper Dan Bentley.
“I knew the set-up from last year,” said Alabi.
“But at the end of the day, this is the club that gave me my first professional debut, so it was a no-brainer for me when Russ invited me to return.
“The game on Tuesday came quick, but I just wanted to get onto the pitch as soon as possible. It was good to be able to pull the shirt back on for the team.”
Brought back to Glanford Park as a physical presence due to the absence of Deon Burton through injury – and quoted by manager Russ Wilcox as a “Plan B” – Alabi feels he has improved as a player over the last 12 months and ready to complete the last ten games of the season with Scunthorpe United.
“I’m just going to do my best when I get on the pitch,” he stated.
“Hopefully I can use my ability and do what I do best. In doing that, I will hopefully get a few goals for the team and help the team to promotion.”
See much more from James Alabi, Dave Syers and Russ Wilcox on The Iron Player.