Andrew Boyce believes there are positives to take from the narrow loss to Notts County on Saturday.Scunthorpe dominated possession for most of the game but succumbed to an 89th minute penalty, converted by Magpies’ substitute Zeli Ismail.
Boyce spoke to The Iron Player soon after the final whistle, and said it was “gutting to lose” after being on top for the majority of the match.
“I think we had the better chances in front of goal and they didn’t really break us down for the majority of the game,” he said.
“But they have done late on and that’s what won them the game, so it’s disappointing from our part.
“I think we deserved at least a point, although that’s just the way it goes when you’re at the foot of the table – you don’t get the rub of the green.”
Notts County are the in-form team in League One, climbing up the table after going ten games unbeaten before this fixture.
However, the Iron were comfortable throughout, creating more chances while remaining solid at the back.
The centre back said: “There are positives to take from this game because we more than matched a team who find themselves in the top five of the table.”
Scunthorpe’s back four, consisting of Boyce, O’Neill, Williams and Brisley, handled the likes of Michael Petrasso and former Iron Garry Thompson well, reducing the visitors to no clear goal-scoring opportunities.
This pleased Boyce, who sat in the centre of the back line, yet he insisted there is more to come from this defensive unit.
He stated: “I think we’re getting there; we just need a few more clean sheets. At the end of the day, that’s how you judge a back four and we’re just not getting them at the minute.
“It’s something we need to keep working on, as well as listening to the gaffer, and hopefully we’ll improve in time.”
This was the sixth time Boyce has paired up with Peterborough loanee Shaun Brisley at centre back.
He feels he has a “good understanding” with the 24-year-old but said, again, there is “still work to be done” due to the lack of a clean sheet.
The former Lincoln City man had plenty of praise for new signing Luke Williams, who made his debut against the Magpies.
“I thought he was really good today,” said the defender.
“He was really tidy on the ball and got in some decent areas. Luke showed his quality and hurt them at times; it was clearly a sign of things to come.”
Scunthorpe fans showed their support, appreciation and sympathy for the squad’s efforts after watching them cruelly and undeservedly fall to defeat. Boyce was impressed with the atmosphere at Glanford Park.
“It was good to see the fans get going today,” he said.
“Obviously they saw that we didn’t quite deserve the defeat and stuck by us, something I’m sure they’ll continue to do.”
So hard work is what is needed, according to Boyce - something the Iron will not be short of in the week’s rest between this defeat and the next game against Peterborough.
“We just need to keep training hard,” he said.
“Like the gaffer told us: we have to work on the basics. We have to use this free week to work on the team and put things right in time for next Saturday.”
See much more from Andrew Boyce, Mark Robins and Luke Williams on The Iron Player.