Iron goalkeeper Luke Daniels bemoaned a poor second half from the team as one of the key factors towards the side’s 2-0 defeat away at Preston North End on Saturday.Talking to The Iron Player after the game at Deepdale, Daniels believes that the hosts edged the second period, after a tight affair during the first 45 minutes which left the game on a knife edge.
Daniels told us: “I thought we weren’t great.
“We held them to very limited chances during the first half but I think in the second half they wanted it a bit more than us and I think at times they battled harder than us.
“It’s something we can’t afford to let happen again.”
After an even first period, the two teams returned for the second half still at square one, with the score still at 0-0, but a goal just before the hour mark from Lilywhites midfielder Daniel Johnson handed the ascendency to Simon Grayson’s men from there on out.
When asked about what changed amongst the Iron players after that goal went in, Daniels couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
Daniels said: “I’m not sure, I think it’s when they got on top a little bit and they got the first goal it was difficult for us.
“We needed to stay in the game which obviously we didn’t manage to do and it made it difficult for us and they seemed to be locked on for the three points, when we really should have been getting there first.”
Saturday’s game rounded off a five week spell where United faced each of the top four sides in the division in Bristol City, MK Dons, Swindon Town and Preston, with all four games very competitive.
Daniels stated: “It is very pleasing but it’s also disappointing because you look at the teams we are coming up against, the teams that are at the top of the division and on our day I think we are more than capable of doing a job on them all.
“It’s difficult when you come here and don’t perform, and it feels like we’ve let an opportunity slip.”
Defeat marked the end of a great run of form away from home in League One, as prior to the 3pm kick-off United hadn’t tasted a league defeat on the road in nine games, the last coming on September 27 at Boundary Park against Oldham.
This fantastic feat was for the committed travelling fans according to Daniels, who can’t wait to start up another unbeaten streak which he hopes can also incorporate games at Glanford Park.
Daniels said: “The fans were great, they came in their numbers and that is great to see.
“It’s disappointing for the players and the squad that we didn’t put on a performance that warranted them travelling all that way.
“It is great we kept that run for so long, but ultimately it’s disappointing we have lost and the run has gone, but it’s up to us to start a new one and go again.
“Why can’t we go and do it for ten more games? We can do it home and away and really kick on up the table.”
A chance to resurrect the Preston defeat is right around the corner with Barnsley the visitors to Glanford Park on Tuesday, and Daniels believes a game immediately after a defeat is the perfect remedy to wipe away the lingering disappointments of a defeat.
Daniels commented: “I think you can look at it as a case of ‘Okay we’ve been beaten today but we’ve got another game on Tuesday'.
“When you have a week in between games it can be a quite long and difficult as you’re raring to go again so giving the fact we have another game in the next couple of days is good when you put in a performance like we did today.”
The Iron have back-to-back home games this week against Barnsley and Yeovil, two sides that currently lie below Scunthorpe United in the league standings, but Daniels insisting the team doesn’t pay too much attention to the positioning of their opponents on match-days, they can give any team in the division a run for their money on their day, as proven over the last few months.
Daniels remarked: “Of course it’s a great chance to pick up some points.
“I think, like I said, we’ve given every team in the division a good game so it doesn’t really matter where they are in the league positions.
“We’re more than capable of doing that so hopefully we can kick on and start stringing some more good results together.”
Finally, Daniels rounded off his post-match chat by approving the claim that the strong bond and morale between the members of the United team will help them cast aside their frowns from the Deepdale defeat, and go full steam ahead in their preparations for Tuesday’s clash with Barnsley.
“Definitely” said Daniels in response to the togetherness amongst the team question.
“We are definitely disappointed with both the result and the performance today, but it’s not something we are going to get really down about, we need to move on.
“The fact that we have another game Tuesday will help us do that, and now we really have to get back to what we really do well which is competing and playing good football and that’s what we didn’t do well enough today.”