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CONFIDENT HEADING TO ORIENT

29 January 2015

Iron forward Tom Hopper was pleased to come away from the MK Dons match with a point - and he says it should possibly have been three.

A goalless first half saw the visitors share the better chances in Tuesday’s match at Glanford Park, but they could not capitalise on any of the openings and it was United who struck first.

Karl Robinson’s side levelled with 13 minutes left on the clock and it meant the Claret and Blue would share a point with promotion-chasing Milton Keynes in a tight, hard-fought match.

“We probably did not have the best of first halves,” Hopper reflected to The Iron Player following the 1-1 draw.

“But we got in at half-time still in the game and we regrouped. We were probably the better team in the second half, we had a lot of chances and maybe a point is fair.

“We could have easily taken three and we were disappointed to concede from a set piece but both teams had chances.

“Looking back, we had the clearer opportunities. Nonetheless, against a team like that, we are happy with a point.”

The Leicester loan man scored his second goal in three games for Scunthorpe. He admits he began to tire at the end, but he is getting up to match fitness as that will “come with time” and he was pleased to get another goal.

The opener came after Dons’ goalkeeper David Martin mishit a goal kick and Paddy Madden was on hand to provide the assist for Hopper, who says the goal was a reward for the team’s efforts.

“I was delighted,” he stated. 

“I wasn’t having the best of games so getting on the scoresheet always helps and as long as I keep contributing to the team in anyway possible I am happy with that. We forced them into the mistake and playing the way they did and we deserve credit for that.

“We know we are good enough to be up there (in the Sky Bet League One table), so a point against MK Dons and the performance against Bristol last week shows the calibre of team we can be and we can hopefully get up the table.”

United improved in the second period, with the help of tactical changes as well as bringing on new personnel and the forward knows he is constantly being pushed for a place in the starting XI, with a competitive squad in place. 

He stated: “The subs came on and did great, they are bright and lively and we have to fight for our place week in, week out and it is a healthy thing to have. It keeps everyone on their toes and working hard every day.

“The match itself was a battle between the midfielders, there were some good players in there and we had to get to grips with each others’ methods of play and we worked them out well in the second half, put them under pressure and caused a lot of problems.”

It is a quick turnaround for Mark Robins’ men, who travel to the Matchroom Stadium on Saturday to play Leyton Orient and the loanee says spirits high in the camp after passing the halfway mark in the season.

Hopper added: “We will come back in and get straight on with preparations on Saturday, we will go there hoping to pick up three points.

“It will be tough but we are full of belief and we will hopefully get three points.

“There is still a lot of confidence. We have had good performances and we are more than happy with how it is going at the moment and we will keep on going.”

See much more from Tom Hopper, Niall Canavan and Mark Robins on The Iron Player.

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