Iron assistant boss Ned Kelly says the squad have looked bright and sharp in training this week as he looks forward to facing his former club, Sheffield United, at the weekend.Kelly played for the Blades between 2000 and 2001, playing 35 games. He remembers his time at the club fondly.
“I had a great time there. It’s a fantastic club with good support, so we look forward to them coming here,” he said.
Sheffield United have remained in and around the play-off places for the majority of the season, and have been one of the favourites for promotion since their relegation from the Championship in 2011. Kelly simply described this as the “demands of the football club”.
He said: “They’re a big team with a great support base, so they’re looking to get out of the league as quickly as possible. Nigel Clough has done a good job and amassed a very good squad there. They’ve got some good attacking options to it’ll be another good local game.”
The Iron come into this fixture off the back of the 2-0 defeat to Crewe on Saturday. Kelly described how the squad were “disappointed in how we conceded the goals”, along with the fact “we didn’t really get started in the second half.”
“However, the lads have come back nice and bright,” he added. “We’ve had some really good training sessions so we’re looking forward to the weekend.”
The claret and blue need to “make the goalkeeper work a little bit more”, said Kelly when asked about Scunthorpe’s recent form in front of goal.
“We’ve had the best part of 100 opportunities in the last six or seven matches, which is an incredible amount,” he said. “We’ve not been able to convert as many as we’d like to so I think there’ll be a bit more emphasis on hitting the target and making sure we don’t miss in critical areas.”
Mark Robins’ side are determined to end a five-game winless streak at Glanford Park on Saturday, with Kelly adding: “We’ve been a little bit unfortunate that we’ve been punished when making a mistake. But I’m not making excuses. We have to keep clean sheets and finish off the good attacks we’ve been having.”
Kelly concluded by praising the Scunthorpe fan base: “We’ve had really good support since we’ve been here and hopefully that continues for as long as possible.”