United boss Russ Wilcox has backed Sam Winnall to put the disappointment of missing out on the League Two Player of the Year Award behind him and fire his side to promotion.The 23-year-old was a firm favourite to take the gong courtesy of leading the divisional scoring charts with 19, but found himself narrowly ousted by Chesterfield United winger Gary Roberts.
However, Wilcox believes the decision will spur Winnall on to even greater things, and told The Iron Player: “I think what he has to do is take the positives out of it.
“Just 12 months ago he was in a bit of a dark place after being released by Wolves. He’s come a long way, so to be put up for the award is a great achievement for him.
“I just hope he can keep going now for the remaining nine games and score some more goals to keep us in the top three.”
While the former Wolves forward’s goal-scoring exploits have stolen much of the headlines this term, he has been ably supported by a number of other attacking players – none less so than Iron favourite Paul Hayes.
Hayes made an impressive cameo off the bench against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, playing a key role against a side he represented on loan earlier in the season to help steer United to a crucial 2-0 victory.
The 30-year-old striker earned praise for his weekend efforts, and Wilcox added: “It’s always in your thoughts when you go back to places.
“I was thinking after 15 minutes, this is a game for Paul Hayes, with them defending deep. He had a role in both goals actually, playing the ball in to Hakeeb for his little turn.
“Hopefully everyone will play a part in the remaining games. It’s not always the team that starts, sometimes it’s the team that finishes, and I think that was the case on Saturday.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Terry Hawkridge and Sam Slocombe on The Iron Player.