United boss Mark Robins hailed the professionalism of his side after they brushed aside Forest Green Rovers to progress to the FA Cup second round on Saturday.On a weekend when a number of non-league sides sprung a surprise on their higher-ranked counterparts, the Iron came through a potentially tough test with few concerns thanks to a pair of deflected efforts from Gary McSheffrey.
The former Premier League winger refused to shirk the challenge of facing an industrious non-league outfit, and Robins told The Iron Player: “He’s crucial, and a really experienced player who works hard for the team even though he had more tape on him than most Christmas presents, and he’s got his rewards.
“He scored his goals, and it was a really professional performance. That’s the key when you come to places like this [Forest Green] as they have some good players and can punish you at times.
“Fortunately, we’ve done enough in the game.”
Robins also credited the efforts of midfielder Isaiah Osbourne, who had to be substituted in the second half after being struck down by injury, and admitted: “That’s one of the downsides; I’m just hoping he’s not strained his hamstring and we have enough time between games to get him recovered.
“We don’t play next week because of the MK Dons game being postponed, so we’ve got a little bit of time before Crawley on the 22nd. We’re hoping he’s going to be ok, but if not I’ll look in the loan market and see what I can do before the window shuts.
“He’s been immense. You can see what he brings, but also the side of the game where he can improve. He’s still a young man who can get around the pitch, and he does that brilliantly for us.
“He throws himself into challenges that others might not do, so he’s a really good one to have around.”
Another player to be withdrawn from their duties early during the 2-0 victory was Hakeeb Adelakun, who was replaced by Jennison Myrie-Williams at the break as part of a tactical alteration, and Robins explained: “I didn’t think he had got involved enough, and that’s just his age.
“He needs to knuckle down and work hard, as there’s no magic formula for these players. They’ve got to work hard, got to start picking things up, and start translating information into performances.
“That’s what I’m looking for from all the players, not just Hakeeb. He’s got another 45 minutes under his belt, and we’ll continue his progression.
“Collectively you have to work hard to try and improve, and that has to be the prerequisite. He’s not understanding the game or the position totally yet, and that’s understandable at his age.”
See much more from Mark Robins, Gary McSheffrey and Eddie Nolan on The Iron Player.