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IT'S ALL IN OUR HANDS

31 March 2014

Iron defender Eddie Nolan remained eager to accentuate the positives after seeing his side held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Wycombe Wanderers at Glanford Park on Saturday.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, United found their steely resolve tested by a Chairboys side determined to avoid dropping into non-league football.



The hosts’ afternoon was made harder by losing Marcus Williams, Sean McAllister and Gary McSheffrey to injuries during the second period, eventually seeing the Iron play out the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

However, neither side could find a late goal to break the deadlock despite an end-to-end finale, and Nolan told The Iron Player: “It was a different game, but we have to take the positives.

“We had to finish the game with 10 men, so it was tough. Fair play to Wycombe, they came here with a game-plan to sit behind the ball.

“They came for a point, and they got it. We still went for the win, which we do every game, but we didn’t take our chances.

“We had a couple of chances, but it was just wasn’t our day really in front of goal. We’re still unbeaten and got the point, and results went for us so we’re as we were.”

The result reflects the competitive nature of the division, with teams towards the bottom often struggling higher-placed rivals – particularly as the season draws to a close.

United knew that going into the contest, having been held to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park in December, and Nolan added: “There’s no easy games in this league.

“We played Wycombe down there earlier in the season and drew with them then too, so they’re not a bad side. They came here to do what they did, and they’ve got it [the point].

“It’s as we were with one game less, but we still want to win the league so we’ll be looking to win all six [remaining games].”

In avoiding defeat for the 24th match in succession under Russ Wilcox, United made Football League history by breaking the 125-year record for the longest sequence of matches without a loss by any Football League manager from the start of their reign.

Their run now betters the one set by Preston North End during the inaugural 1888/1889 Football League season, when William Sudell guided the Lilywhites to the maiden First Division Championship without losing.

The magnitude of that achievement is not lost on Nolan, who said: “It’s brilliant. There’s not a lot of players who will ever do that in their careers, so it’s a credit to all the lads and the staff.

“It’s terrific. It’s more than half a season so credit where credit is due, it’s been excellent. There’s been a bit of doom and gloom here the last couple of years, but now it’s going to be a very good season come the end of it.”

The result also left United with a seven point cushion over the teams outside the automatic promotion places, with just six matches of the regular season now remaining as they look to complete a return to League One at the first time of asking following relegation last season.

Next up for the Iron as they continue their promotion bid is an arduous trek to basement club Torquay United next weekend – the reverse fixture of which saw the Iron run out 3-1 winners back in November.

With the Gulls sitting seven points from safety at the bottom of the table, the Devon outfit will be forced to come out on the attack, and Nolan added: “They’re fighting for their lives down there, so it will be a tough game.

“As we do every game, we’ll go there for the win. We’ll travel down the day before and get the rest needed. It’s going to be tough, but should be a good game.

“It’s in our hands; it’s up to us now to keep doing what we’re doing and see it through.”

See much more from Eddie Nolan, Russ Wilcox and Dave Syers on The Iron Player.

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