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MUCH IMPROVED WITH THE BALL

6 October 2014

United boss Russ Wilcox was impressed with the performance against local rivals Doncaster Rovers on Saturday despite eventually falling to a 2-1 defeat.

The 50-year-old made two changes from the previous weekend’s 3-2 loss to Oldham Athletic, with Sean McAllister and Jennison Myrie-Williams replaced by Matt Sparrow and Terry Hawkridge respectively.

That saw the home side adopt a more compact midfield, and Wilcox told The Iron Player: “Looking at Doncaster’s shape, which is important now we’ve moved up a level, we wanted to play a narrow four without the ball because we knew they’d have a 4-2-3-1.

“It was important we didn’t allow Doncaster to play through us, which obviously they did on a couple of occasions because they’re a good outfit. They’ve got some good experience in that midfield, especially [Richie] Wellens, who is a top player.”

Having expressed his disappointment with the passing rhythm of his side following last Saturday’s reverse at Boundary Park, Wilcox added: “With the ball, we wanted to make the pitch big and be expansive by moving it around wide and getting some quality into the box.

“I thought we did that at times, and I’m gutted for everybody that we’ve not picked something up from the game. Our movement and play was good, and we had some good passages of play but the two goals against have cost us.

“We just needed that second goal when we went 1-0 up, and then we could have gone on to win the game comfortably. Doncaster had spells in the game, which every team does, but you do that need that little bit of luck in the opposition’s box.

“Paddy [Madden] had a great header which has come off Rory [Fallon] and gone over the bar when it was heading into the top-corner. That’s the way it seems to be going for us in that final-third, but I felt we created some good chances.”

One of the shining lights of the Iron’s most recent outings is the form of newly-recruited striker, Rory Fallon, who notched his second goal in as many games when he finished expertly in the 24th minute to put the hosts in front.

Fallon’s impact since penning a short-term deal with the club after training with the United squad has impressed Wilcox, who said: “Rory’s done well since he’s come into the building, and he’s got two good goals.

“Paddy enjoys playing off the big lad – he likes to run onto the flick-on’s and get around Rory – so I think they’ve been good. Rory’s link-up play is good; he’s not just a battering ran where he touches everything on, he can get hold of it and bring people into play.

“Overall, there’s not a lot wrong with the performance. The disappointing side is we’ve come away with nothing again.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.

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