United midfielder Dave Syers believes Saturday’s 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle at Home Park is conclusive proof his side have what it takes to get over the line in the League Two promotion race.The Iron went into the game on the back of four successive draws, and were forced to wait until the 78th minute to take the lead when Syers himself diverted an effort from substitute Paul Hayes past Argyle goalkeeper Jake Cole.
In each of their last four outings United had been pegged back from winning positions, but Russ Wilcox’s men displayed a steely resolve to maintain their lead before sealing victory with the last kick of the game through second half replacement Hakeeb Adelakun.
The result helped to reenergise United’s promotion ambitions, and Syers told The Iron Player: “It was a really good one to win, especially when you travel so far away as it makes the journey home a lot quicker.
“We’ve been in the top three since December, so we’ve not been out of it [the promotion race] but it’s nice to get that win, especially going into the last few weeks. It gives us a bit of a boost, and it was great to get the three points that our performances have warranted.”
United were always set for a tough task in Devon, coming up against a side who had stormed to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Morecambe in their most recent last home appearance.
However, they proved more than a match for the Pilgrims, and Syers added: “They were a team in form, so to get the three points is big in that sense.
“I was surprised they perhaps didn’t come out as much as we expected from a team on a good run, but from our point of view we were very patient. We kept the ball very well, bided our time, and got the result we wanted.”
One factor that allowed the Iron to express themselves fully was the standard of the Home Park pitch, which offered a marked difference from some of the surfaces United have had to contend with in recent weeks.
The size and quality of the pitch allowed United to knock the ball about with confidence, and Syers said: “It’s about taking advantage of playing on a top-quality surface.
“It’s a very big pitch, which allows you to pass the ball around. With them sitting deep we had to do that, and even though it’s taken until the last 10 minutes we know as a squad to keep going right to the end. “
Having taken his personal tally to the season to 10 with his strike against Argyle, Syers was understandably pleased with his haul, and added: “Obviously it’s nice to get to double figures, so from a personal point of view I’m very happy, but the three points is the most important thing.
“My goal target is 10, which is always the aim when I’m playing regularly. The most pleasing thing from this season so far is that I’ve not missed a game since I arrived.
“I’ve been playing week in, week out, and it gives you that consistency and allows you to have the confidence to get on the end of things. It always helps to play regularly – your game naturally develops, and you build up a head of steam.”
United now have just nine games of the regular campaign remaining as they look to complete a return to League One at the first time of asking – having been relegated from the division last season.
The first of those games sees fellow promotion rivals Burton Albion visit Glanford Park next weekend, and Syers said: “We’ve got to get home first, then we’ll have a bit of a rest before Burton.
“Obviously we’ve had three games this week, so it’s nice to not have a midweek one coming up. It’s a big game on Saturday, leading into the Tuesday then Saturday again, so we’ve got a great chance to really push into this final run.
“It [Burton] is going to be an extremely tough game, and it’s one we’re going to have to work hard in. Everyone knows how tight it is. It’s going to be hard, but it’s been like that the last three months.
“If we can consistently keep picking up points the way we have then I’m confident we will be in that top three.”
See much more from Dave Syers, Russ Wilcox, Sean McAllister and Paul Hayes on The Iron Player.