Scunthorpe United right back Jordan Clarke says he has been impressed with his new club so far.The defender arrived from Coventry City on a two-and-a-half year deal last month and has made three appearances so far.
One of those came in the weekend win at Leyton Orient, where United won convincingly at the Matchroom Stadium, to surge United further up the table with games in hand.
The Iron conceded just once - from the spot - after Clarke was adjudged to have fouled Darius Henderson and he admits it was a harsh decision given against him.
“It was a good result,” Clarke told The Iron Player.
“4-1 away from home is always nice and the performance on a whole was also very good.
“The only downfall was conceding the goal, I don’t think it was a penalty.
“To be fair to the lad he had a laugh and a joke after the game and he has played for the penalty. That’s football. Other than that it was a brilliant result and a step in the right direction.
“Since I got here, I have been really impressed with my team-mates and the quality they possess.
“On Saturday we, as a collective, really showed it and some of the football and the finishes was really up there. I think coming into the latter stage of the season we are in a really good position.”
United have now scored eight goals in their last two league outings away from home, with a variety of players getting on the scoresheet. Clarke believes that not only do they have the ability, but the strength in depth means there is plenty of competition for manager Mark Robins to mull over.
“We have more than enough quality to score plenty of goals each game and with the chances we do create, I don’t see why we cannot continue that," he stated.
“It’s a big squad, there has been a few coming in and a few going. The balance is still there and there’s competition for places and it keeps everyone on their toes.”
He arrived from Coventry at a similar time as a couple of other January additions and the 23-year-old feels at home in his new environment, although he insists Iron fans have not seen the best of him yet.
“I have settled in really well,” he continued.
“The lads have been great with me and so has the manager. I wasn’t pleased with my first two performances but that is purely down to match fitness and after the last performance at Leyton Orient, I was more than happy to take a step in the right direction and keep going.
“I will get better with more game time. I am my own worst critic, I know they weren’t good enough, however, the Orient game was tenfold better and I want to build on that and focus on improving.”
February sees a hectic Football League schedule kick in, as the season enters its second half and, after Oldham on Saturday, the Claret and Blue face a trip to the Ricoh Arena, Clarke’s old club.
Despite a bout of snow around Scunthorpe, the weather has not affected preparations for the quick turnaround of fixtures too much.
He stated: “We have Oldham at the weekend and then Coventry on Tuesday, which I am really looking forward to. We just have to keep up the level of performance and the good feeling in the changing room,” he said.
“If we can continue that, I can’t see why performances will dry up.
“We have an indoor training facility so it has been fine, we have all got the work done that we need to get in and preparations have been spot on.
“Oldham have had really good form and a dip in form, you do not know what you are going to get from them. Hopefully it’s the dip in form version, but we always prepare for the best and prepare our team to break them down and the manager’s preparations have been spot on so far.”
If United win their games in hand they will be right in the mix for a play-off spot and, while Clarke insists it is early days yet, he believes the task is more than possible and one of the reasons he chose Glanford Park in January.
“Stats speak for themselves and before I got here, the form has been very good,” he added.
“Since I arrived it has been one loss, one draw and one win but it has been positive, we want to continue that and keep on getting three points. You have to get the balance right, we as the team and management staff go from game to game and we try not to get ahead of ourselves.
“It is a good show of character that some of the lads think the play-offs are a possibility and I personally do, purely because of the games we have in hand and the form we possess at the moment. It shows the lads' ambitions and that can only be a good thing.”
See much more from Jordan Clarke, Mark Robins, Ned Kelly, Neal Bishop and Kevin van Veen on The Iron Player.