United’s newest striker Tom Hopper couldn’t have done a better job of introducing himself to the Iron faithful than he did at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.A goal and an assist for the Leicester City loanee rounded off a very impressive first performance, and Hopper paid a tribute to his team-mates for both helping him settle in to life in North Lincolnshire, and for producing such a successful performance all round.
Hopper told The Iron Player: “The lads have been great. I came in yesterday and I felt welcome straight away. It’s just great playing football, and the lads have helped me right away.
"I’ve seen a lot of the players before and I already knew the quality of play would be high, and that was shown again today.”
Talking about his own personal performance, Hopper spoke about his goal which stretched the Iron’s lead to two nil before the break, and about what the fans can expect from him in the future.
Hopper said: “Of course it’s nice to score on debuts, nice to score anytime really. It helped me a lot to settle a few nerves, being back in the league, and hopefully it’ll be one of many more.
"I like to think I can do the No. 9 role, the target man, but I also like to think I’m mobile enough to be running in behind, getting in to the little pockets, so hopefully you’ll see that over my time here.”
Hopper signed for the club on a one-month loan deal from the Foxes on Thursday, and the striker stated he never hesitated in taking up the offer.
Hopper added: “I spoke to the manager at Leicester who knows Mark Robins quite well and he said it would be a great move for me.
"Being a Lincolnshire lad myself it was a no brainer seeing the position Scunthorpe were in, and what they could be in, and the chance to get some regular football and goals, it was a straight forward for me.”
Hopper forged a good link with Paddy Madden up front at Walsall on Saturday, as well as combining well with other new recruit Jacob Murphy, and Hopper discussed the potential of the two partnerships continuing.
Hopper told us: “Paddy is a great player, and I saw he scored lots of goals for Yeovil, so hopefully we can keep working, and who knows what can happen.
"I’ve seen Jacob at Blackpool, and he’s also a really good player. I’m sure he’ll have no problems playing here, especially if he can keep putting the ball on a plate for me, then I’ll be delighted!”
The win at Walsall extended our unbeaten run to 11 games in all tournaments, and Hopper stressed the importance of maintaining that feat.
Hopper stated: “It’s massive. The momentum now will keep rolling through every competition we’re in, and hopefully we can keep on pushing up this league, and with games in hand, I don’t see why it has to stop any time soon.”
The string of good results has helped push the club further away from the relegation zone, and further towards the top half of the table, and with the advantage of having a few extra games to pick up points in over their league rivals, Hopper believes anything is possible right now at Scunthorpe United.
Hopper stated: “The sky is the limit for us at the moment.
"With games in hand like, if we keep putting this run together and take each game as it comes and keep going for those three points week in week out, we’ll start rising up the table.
"We’ll see what happens at the end of it but we’ll take each game as it comes.”
See much more from Tom Hopper, Neal Bishop and Mark Robins on The Iron Player.