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ALEXANDER HAILS SECOND HALF DISPLAY

6 August 2016

Iron manager Graham Alexander has hailed his side’s second half display in the 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers.

Matty Taylor gave the away side a 31st minute lead but goals after the break from Kevin van Veen, Josh Morris and Kyle Wootton ensured an opening day success.

Whilst admitting improvements are still needed, Alexander was delighted to see the team recover from going behind to win.

He told The Iron PlayerHD: “We didn’t play as well as we could in the first-half and we were making poor decisions.

“We gave a sloppy goal away from our perspective but the second half was much improved and we deservedly went on to win I felt.

“The second half performance was high in quality and work rate and the three finishes were superb – enough to win any game.

“Bristol Rovers will do well this year. They’ve got good players and a good team so to come back from 1-0 down against a side like that is very pleasing.

“The players are desperate to do well. They’re pushing themselves to make the right decisions and I felt we did that in the second half really well with three great finishes.”

The equaliser came not long after the restart as van Veen smashed home emphatically from inside the area before Morris hit a fine strike from distance on debut.

Substitute Kyle Wootton put the icing on the cake with a calm finish in stoppage time and Alexander thought all three goals were of high quality.

“Kev has adjusted his feet really well as it was a difficult one to control but he hit it with great quality,” he continued.

“It was a fantastic finish and the spark for the rest of the game as the crowd really got behind us massively and we got that momentum to go on and win.

“He deserved that because he’s worked hard in pre-season. He wants to learn and goals like that will only encourage him to keep going.

“Josh went close a couple of times earlier on and I know what he can do. He’s always proactive, wanting to take people on and commit players.

“I thought he attacked the space really well for his goal and showed great technique.

“It was similar to the one he scored last week in pre-season but this one certainly meant a lot more.

“Kyle’s finish was superb as well. Not just the finish but the build-up.

“It was a great ball from Haks (Hakeeb Adelakun) and a composed strike from Kyle that will do him the world of good.”

Quick to highlight the fact that United have a long, hard season ahead of them, the boss stated all of his squad will be needed in some capacity as the campaign progresses, before concluding with an injury update.

He added: “We’re going to need every single player over the next 10 months. We need everyone to be pushing each other, supporting each other.

“We have a fantastic spirit amongst the team but we’ve got to make sure we foster that as we face more challenges.

“There are a few bumps and bruises, as you’d expect. It was a competitive game and I thought both teams were looking to win it which was great to see.

“They’ll all be fine as when you win a game, those bruises seem to go away a little bit easier than when you lose.

“Other than that, we’re waiting to see how Paddy (Madden) and Sam (Mantom) are over the weekend but hopefully we’ll have them back with us soon.”

See much more from Graham Alexander, Kevin van Veen and Josh Morris on The Iron PlayerHD.

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