Iron boss Mark Robins believes his side came very close to claiming all three points against Sheffield United.Talking to The Iron Player after the 1-1 draw, Robins believes that with a bit of give, his post-match press conference could have seen him giving a glowing reaction to a much needed home victory, but luck wasn’t quite on his side with a few opportunities going agonisingly begging.
Despite this, he did declare his delight at the fact the team were near their creative best up front.
Robins remarked on the sides repetitive efforts to score: “It’s very encouraging.
“We’ve had a couple of 4-1 wins and we’ve been knocking on the door and scoring goals ever since I came in. It’s disappointing when we can’t take one of those chances but we opened them up and we were creating the opportunities.
“Paddy has done brilliantly for the two chances and Osbourne’s set him up with the second one, and usually you bank on Paddy to score one of those from a central position but I think Kevin van Veen has also opened the defence up well too and made a good chance for him and I expected it to end up in the back of the net as well.
“It just wasn’t to be, so it could have been a completely different story, it wasn’t, and now we have to take the point and move on the next game.
“You have to take the positives from it as there were one or two good points there and one or two decent performances too.”
Neal Bishop made his return to the starting line-up a happy one as he turned home Scunthorpe’s opener to break the deadlock in the game, before unfortunately departing the pitch at half-time, with Robins sharing a little about why he didn’t return to the fray for the second period.
Robins said: “It definitely wasn’t a tactical change as that wouldn’t be a good decision after he’d just scored, but in all fairness Neal was struggling a wee bit.
“He started off on the right-hand side for us before going more central, and then we managed to poke our noses in front from a really good header by him. It was a great header by Niall back to him and Neal’s managed to get his head on the end of that. It put us 1-0 up and gave us a bit of a foothold in the game and probably against the run of play at that stage.
“One switch off and they’ve come back into the game and from our perspective it was a poor goal. In the second half I thought we were the better side.”
With Bishop eligible again and Tom Hopper again missing out with a toe injury, Robins had a bit of a selection headache when deciding who to play where, and he cleared up any queries about any issues to do with formation changes or player positions.
Robins informed: “There was no change of formation, we just played an extra midfielder over on the right-hand side.
“It was more to do with trying to get some support up with Paddy so he wasn’t isolated, and a bit of height too. Because of Neal’s injury it stopped him from being as athletic as he normally is and it obviously contributed, so I brought him more centrally and put Liam O’Neil on the right.
“It was just a case of needs must and about the bodies that were available. In the second half there was always going to be more of an attacking threat which we were proven to be, but it was just one of those days where we couldn’t get the second goal.”
Marcus Williams returned from a back-injury that has left him sidelined since departing the pitch during the game with Chesterfield, and Robins was pleased to have one of the more senior pros in his youthful squad back in the mix.
Robins said: “Marcus adds experience, and I was trying to get the experienced lads back in to the side for a derby game. Games of this nature are always tough and he proved it in the way he has come in and did well on Saturday.”
Finally, rounding off the interviews with a short discussion on opponents Rochdale next Saturday, Robins believes taking his side’s display during the second 45 minutes of the Sheffield United game to Spotland is imperative if they plan on taking any points from what is bound to be a tough League One fixture.
Robins told the press: “I will hoping to take our performance from the second half of Saturday's game into next week’s match for sure.
“We were better during the second half and if we take that bit of energy and bit of quality from it then we’ll take our chances at Rochdale and I’ll be pleased because they are a very good side.”
See much more from Mark Robins, Paddy Madden and Andrew Boyce on The Iron Player.