Russ Wilcox was full of praise for both of the Iron’s scorers after their 2-1 win against Walsall, their first league success of the campaign.In a match where it looked as though a touch of genius or a mistake would settle it, the Iron scored two sublime goals to secure a victory, despite a nervy finale.
Hakeeb Adelakun got the hosts off the mark following a slaloming run that led to the winger bursting into the box and rolling the ball past the visiting ‘keeper.
The youngster was making back-to-back starts and rewarded Wilcox’s faith by producing a dazzling display, much to the delight of his manager.
He told The Iron Player: “We’ve been encouraging him to step off the line and not just play as an out and out winger, and he’s done that.
“He’s still got a lot of work to do. He’s on the half way line, skips past two or three, unbelievable burst of pace to get out of the second challenge and then in the box shows good composure.
“Thankfully it crept over the line, the way things are going lately you expect it to hit the post and come out.”
Wilcox will hope that this signals a change in fortunes for the Iron, who were very unlucky to be beaten by Reading in midweek and dominated against Walsall.
The Scunthorpe boss was full of praise for his other scorer too, with Gary McSheffrey playing a pivotal role in securing the first league success of the season.
His goal was of Premier League quality and it came as no surprise to Wilcox who knew exactly what the Irishman could offer.
He said: “It was a wonderful strike. If that’s a Premier League goal you see it ten times a day and he’s got that quality has Gary, that’s why he’s in the team.
“He’s got a good role just off the striker. I want to be 4-4-2, but we’ve looked at that and played well with that on Tuesday so I didn’t want to change it.
“I mixed it up a bit later in the game and matched them up, 4-4-2, but it was two wonderful goals that have won us the game today.”
McSheffrey also adds a versatility factor for the Iron as he is able to play on either wing or as a number ten, just off the striker.
The Iron boss felt that the quality the former Coventry man possesses makes him the perfect player to play just off the striker and he thrived against Walsall.
“He’s got good quality and that was what I was thinking getting him off the striker,” Wilcox stated.
“He’s the player at the club who has got the most ability and has played at the top level for obvious reasons and I think he’s worked well in the two games.
“He gave us the opportunity to mix it up later on when we went 4-4-2 and when we tried to push on and go for a third goal. It didn’t quite happen, but the most pleasing thing is three points on the board.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.