Niall Canavan believes wrapping up League One survival on Saturday marked big progress for the Iron after defeating Gillingham 2-1 at Glanford Park.“It’s quite a good achievement really to stay up,” said Canavan after goals from Hakeeb Adelakun and Gary McSheffrey turned the game on its head following Luke Norris’ second minute opener.
“I think any team that comes up looks to consolidate and considering the start we had at the beginning of the season, you’d say it’s quite a big achievement to come back from that and put ourselves safe.”
Thundery showers flooded the pitch midway through the first half, with referee Andy Haines taking the players off the field for their own safety.
With members of the grounds, kitchen and coaching staff picking up a fork or brush to help, Canavan wanted to thank everyone who pitched to get the match back on track, and how he cursed the game from the very beginning.
Niall shared: “I was saying before the game that I hoped there would be a little bit of rain but not really in the amounts it came down in!
“It was a bit difficult at times as you could see that the ball kept stopping in the middle of the pitch and the ref did make the right decision to stop it when he did.
“Credit to all the lads who came on to help, and did a great job to try and clear the water off the pitch as much as they could, and we’re glad as both teams wanted to get it on.”
Speaking on a personal level, it’s been a strange old season for the United no.6, with an injury sustained only a couple of months in to the campaign leaving Canavan on the side lines for a lengthy period.
“It wasn’t my greatest start of the season with the injuries and things like that, but as I’ve said before it has been a blessing for me to be able to sit back and reflect on things, about where I am going and where I am going wrong,” he said.
“The change in management has really allowed me to kick on and progress, and hopefully I can go on and take the next step.”
With the win in the bag and third tier football guaranteed for the 2015/2016 campaign, Canavan had a message for the supporters who have backed them all the way, and what is in store for those who make the trip to the Keepmoat Stadium when we face Doncaster Rovers on Sunday.
He stated: “We want to say thanks to the fans for sticking with us, it wasn’t the greatest of starts and it’s been a long way back for us but thankfully they’ve stayed with us and it was great to sign off here for the season with a win for them.
“We’re safe now and that’s the main objective, but going in to next week we have the chance to leapfrog the local rivals which is always nice. I’m sure it’ll be a tasty one fighting for a league position, and we’ll do thing right and look to get a good result there.”
See much more from Niall Canavan, Hakeeb Adelakun and Mark Robins on The Iron Player.