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Match Reports

WE WILL GET BETTER AND BETTER

18 July 2015

Iron manager Mark Robins was pleased with all his players' performances after the 1-1 behind-closed-doors friendly draw against Middlesbrough in Marbella.

Played in temperatures exceeding 33 degrees, Gary McSheffrey's free-kick was deflected into the net by Boro's Jonathan Burn early in the first half.

Hotly tipped for promotion to the Premier League after narrowly missing out in the play-off final last season, the Teeside team tried to get back into the game but Scunthorpe held firm in both halves - restricting their opponents to half-chances and shots from distance.

Grant Leadbitter equalised late on with a long-range effort to claim a draw.

Over 20 players received a run-out for United, who impressed Robins to a man.

"It was a good work-out against a side who are very nearly a Premier League team," he told Scunthorpe-United.co.uk.

"They have some good players and provided us with a tough task.

"We stuck to our task well and defended well. We feel we got a good performance from all the players who took part in what were hot, testing conditions.

"There are loads of positives to take from the game and as we progress we will get better and better.

"It has been a really good trip to Marbella, everyone has done well and I'm delighted with how everyone has acquitted themselves.

"We were looking to make it a 60 minute/30 minute split (in terms of minutes) but we had to make it 45 minutes for each because it was so hot and both sets of players found it tough.

"It will do them the world of good in the long run, playing in those temperatures.

"Both sides acquitted themselves really well and, make no bones about it, they almost went up to the Premier League last season and will be up there again this season."

Providing an update on injuries, he added: "Everybody bar Kevin van Veen came through the game okay. He received a kick on his calf in the closing stages and we brought him off as a precaution.

"Apart from that, everybody came through it fine."

Speaking about the week as a whole, Robins is delighted with how the seven days of training in Marbella have gone.

There are just three weeks until the start of the new League One season, and the preparations continue with a trip to Hartlepool on Tuesday.

He said: "Overall, the week has gone really well. It has been a very hot and humid environment to be in but everything has gone as well as we could have hoped.

"The players have spent the week together and all bonded well. They've all gelled well.

"We know we have a decent group and we're looking forward to going home now and getting through the rest of our preparations for the new season."

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