United manager Russ Wilcox could not contain his delight after beating Coventry 2-1 at Glanford Park in Sky Bet League One.Goals from Paddy Madden and Lyle Taylor cancelled out Frank Nouble’s opener and the Sky Blues were also reduced to ten men in the second half, after Reda Johnson saw red for violent conduct.
“We showed resilience to come from behind to win the game,” Wilcox told The Iron Player.
“We started the game so well and it just shows the step up in standard. For me, we dominated the first 15 minutes and they scored with their first attack.
“It’s the way it’s been going lately and that’s the step up. If it was League Two, the weight of pass (through to Nouble) wouldn’t have been good and his touch and finish wouldn’t have been as good, but that’s what we are working with now.
“It’s a massive challenge and we have to give our maximum in each game to get points on the board and we did that. I’m delighted with the group, they showed what they’re about with togetherness and commitment to the football club so I’m very pleased.”
Taylor’s second-half goal proved to be crucial and it was also his first competitive goal for the club, since arriving from Sheffield United in the summer and his manager was pleased to see him repay the faith.
After good work on the right by Paddy Madden, Taylor rose high in the box to head brilliantly past Ryan Allsop.
“I brought him to the football club and as a manager, you want to see all your signings out there,” he said.
“I have to be honest- he hasn’t started as well as I wanted him to, so it will hopefully give him a massive boost by scoring a fantastic goal, the winning goal, at the kop end.
“It was a great cross from Paddy, as well. He does that so well, working the channels, and he must be a nightmare to play against.
“Lyle still had a lot of work to do, he showed great desire to get into the box and as it came in, it was a fantastic header and it would deserve to win most games.
“He’s done a lot better, he got tired towards the end and that’s why I made the change. Hopefully he can stamp his mark and get a run in the side and score more goals.”
Wilcox was also keen to put behind the negativity after the club’s 4-1 defeat at Chesterfield and he is proud of his players’ reactions to the loss at the Proact Stadium and he reminded his players of a run of three consecutive wins at Glanford Park. We host Leyton Orient on Saturday:
“I like to look the game back, debrief and have chats about the matches but straight after I normally talk for less than a minute. On Tuesday I just started by saying to them: ‘well done, that’s three wins on the spin at home.’
“There’s a lot of doom and gloom about the place, or has been, understandably looking at the table and I challenged them to make it four on Saturday.”
Wilcox made two adjustments from the side which started the Chesterfield fixture, with Lyle Taylor and Terry Hawkridge coming in for Hakeeb Adelakun and Andy Dawson.
“We made changes by looking at Coventry,” the manager explained.
“In League One you have to be good tactically and flexible to match the other teams. Last season we were very fortunate because we had a strong squad with a 4-4-2.
“I went with a 4-4-2 against Coventry but I put Terry (Hawkridge) in there instead of Hakeeb (Adelakun), so we could be a little more narrow to deal with their five in midfield as they went 5-3-2.
“Their three in midfield are quality players too, especially Jim O’Brien and John Fleck, they are Championship players playing in League One so it’s always difficult but he handled it well and looked after the ball and the bottom line is the three points.”
The Iron boss was also hopeful his squad came through the match unscathed and expressed his pride at his squad.
“I certainly hope there won’t be any injuries, I don’t think there is,” he added. “It would be nice to be able to put out the same team, which we haven’t done yet this season.
“We did it a lot last year and it has been the difference as there’s been too many changes. It’s a huge win, for so many reasons, and I’m delighted for everybody involved.
“It says a lot about their character. We have a lot of good people at this football club and they showed it by rolling their sleeves up and working so hard.
“The squad’s quite bare with injuries and the players I’m putting out, have been outstanding.
“Even on Saturday, they had a great hour before a difficult last 30 minutes and we’ve been playing some great stuff.
“To come away on the wrong side of a 4-1 was disappointing and a 2-1 win over Coventry was a reward for our hard work. The fans got a little bit edgy towards the end, but that always happens with the nervy corners and we defended them fantastically well at the death with things we’ve worked on and spoke about.
“There’s been a lot of talk over the last couple of days about certain things and it showed the lads are right behind me and my staff and we’re delighted with the result.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Lyle Taylor and Gary McSheffrey on The Iron Player.