Mark Robins says his players need to improve on their showing against Port Vale in Sky Bet League One on Tuesday.Kyle Wootton’s last-minute leveller rescued a point for the Iron, after the visitors took the lead before the break, and it finished 1-1 at Glanford Park.
The home side shared the better chances overall and they failed to take them until the dying moments, which took them to 51 points, and it means a vital four points were taken from two important home fixtures.
Speaking after the game, the manager told The Iron Player: “You expect players to be able to compete and do it in a way with quality and the whole game lacked quality.
“They [Port Vale] had one effort on goal, from a set play which has gone in, it’s a disgrace and we have to be better than that. We have to stand up and be men and make better decisions. We don’t make good enough decisions or correct decisions often enough. That is something we have to learn and to learn quickly because you cannot keep doing it.
“We have to make sure, however we do it, we finish off the job that we set out to do when I came here. When you come in and find the team bottom of the league and have to make changes, it is always difficult and always nerve-wracking at this stage and we have to make sure we complete the job in the next game or two.
“[The difference from Saturday’s win was] Anxiety, maybe a bit of fatigue, mentally and physically, at this stage of the season it plays tricks on you - the season is a marathon. There has been so many ups and downs and twists and turns in it, there will probably be a few more as well.
“We have to finish off the job properly and strongly, we have to be mentally strong. It is there for us and on Tuesday we could have won comfortably. We haven’t done that and we huffed and puffed and missed chances before scoring a terrific goal at the end.
“I am disappointed because we are miles better than that but in the midst of it, we have created three or four clear-cut opportunities and that is all you can do. If we weren’t creating chances, you’d be worried, but we are having chance after chance and we haven’t taken them today. Once we do that, things will be different.”
The Scunthorpe United manager also had praise for the visitors, in their approach to stop the Iron playing, citing their experienced central duo as key.
“The way Port Vale played made it difficult for us,” Robins stated.
“It was just a scrappy game and we were getting into areas and putting crosses in from too deep, switching it from back to front and we didn’t want that because we try to build through the middle, it didn’t work today.
“They have players in the middle of the park who are experienced. There’s Michael O’Connor, who everyone here knows, and Michael Brown. They will run the game if you let them.
“We did not do enough to work them and when we got into decent areas there was a poor ball, a bobble on the pitch, something that made the game scruffy and difficult to watch.”
The late leveller will give the Claret and Blue confidence before they travel to Essex on Saturday to play 23rd-placed Colchester United.
Scunthorpe are four points clear of the Sky Bet League One drop with 16 points to play for and Robins says his side has to “finish the job as soon as we possibly can do”.
He said: “At the end of a game like that, it feels like you’ve won and going into Saturday’s game it means we have picked up four points from two games. The results went massively against one or two teams at the bottom and we have to keep plodding on and making sure we pick points up because that is what it’s all about at this stage.
“I’d think so [we would be safe with a win on Saturday], but others may win and Colchester will be another tough opponent. We have to go down there and make sure we play with real positivity.”
Robins added: “It is a case of making sure we do our jobs properly on Saturday, a case of the right rest, recovery and preparations. We need to take our chances, simple as that. Port Vale had one chance and stuck it in the back of the net and we had four or five and scored one goal, if we can increase that percentage we should be fine.”