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WE SET HIGH STANDARDS

2 August 2016

As the pre-season fixture list drew to a close on Saturday, it gave United captain Stephen Dawson a chance to reflect.

He spoke about the game they had been involved in that afternoon, and the summer as a whole.

Kevin van Veen’s ninth minute finish was enough to mean the Iron would enter Saturday’s League One opener with Bristol Rovers having won two pre-season games on the bounce, but our League Two hosts Hartlepool United did all in their power to make it an awkward afternoon for Scunthorpe.

“I feel as a team we could have been a lot better today,” Dawson told The Iron PlayerHD.

“We set high standards, and we’ve gone off after the game and had a few words with one another.

“That’s the joy of pre-season though, it offers you the opportunity to make mistakes as it doesn’t count for anything.

“But from Monday we will be back with the gaffer, and he will have all of the pointers of where we need to improve on, and we just can’t wait for the start of the season now.”

Earlier in the summer, the players and coaching staff jetted off to Austria for a week’s intensive training, where they worked on rebuilding the squad’s fitness, and also helping to settle in the new players.

Dawson believes that although the trip was testing, it helped manager Graham Alexander to put across to the players the style of football he wants to see them playing this coming season.

“It’s been tough and really quite demanding," said Dawson. "The manager has put across how he wants us to play and we have had long days, especially in Austria, where we were training from 6am in the morning to 6pm/7pm at night.”

This time last year Dawson had missed stages of pre-season due to injury and, not long after the season started he’d picked up another set-back, so the Irishman is delighted to be feeling as fit as he does now heading into the first game.

“I haven’t missed a day of pre-season, so it’s probably the best I’ve felt in 16/17 month’s now," he said.

Iron fans will now be able to look ahead to Saturday’s match with promoted Bristol Rovers, a side that look set to bring a large following, but Dawson states that a strong start to the season is pivotal - no matter who you are facing.

“The start to a season is vital, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Bristol Rovers, or whoever else we’re playing," he said.

“They have a lot of good players, but the gaffer will have been watching them like I’m sure they have us.

“They’re going to be bringing a lot of fans, but our fans who always come out and support us will be part of a great atmosphere too.”

See much more from Stephen Dawson on The Iron PlayerHD.

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