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WE STARTED SO POSITIVELY

20 August 2016

United manager Graham Alexander was full of praise for his squad following the 5-0 victory over Gillingham at Glanford Park.

The Iron led by three goals at half-time after Kevin van Veen, a Josh Morris penalty and Jordan Clarke’s close range header put Scunthorpe in control.

That came before a further effort from Morris and another Tom Hopper strike, his third in three games, completed the rout and secured a resounding three points.

Alexander spoke to The Iron PlayerHD afterwards and said: “We started the game so positively and really took it to Gillingham.

“We committed bodies forward, we pressed them and we created opportunities.

“Kev scored from distance again and it was a great strike. He’s in a positive frame of mind, as the other players are too, and to get a goal that early in the game gave us something to build on which we certainly did.

“That’s the longest spell we’ve played well for in a game. We’ve done bits and pieces in the middle of matches or had a good half here and there but for 90 minutes I thought we played really well today.

“Gillingham weren’t without their threats and they’ve got some very good players.

“They’ll be a force this season, without a doubt, and to get a 5-0 victory was superb so great credit has to go to everybody.”

The afternoon’s work saw four different players on the scoresheet, an area Alexander has been keen to see improvement.

Insisting scoring goals should be a team effort, the boss wants his team continue to share that load as the season progresses.

“We’ve identified that we need goals from all around the team and we can’t just leave it on any one person’s shoulders,” he continued.

“We need goals from all over the pitch and we got that today so it’s important that we share that load.

“I thought the two strikers, Kev and Hops, were excellent for their goals and we know Jordan’s a threat when he attacks. It was a great header from him.

“Josh is constantly getting into dangerous positions and it was a very calmly taken penalty for his first.

“He’s then hit another goal from distance to grab his second and we always try to talk to our players about being ultra-positive in that final third.

“It was also a great run from Haks (Hakeeb Adelakun) for the fifth and Hops was in the right position. He’s off the mark now with three goals and hopefully there’s more to come.”

One further positive to come out of the contest was the fact United were able to keep their first clean sheet in the league this season.

Finishing with an assessment of the squad’s defensive display, Alexander also issued an update on Duane Holmes, who was forced to leave proceedings during the opening period.

He added: “We defended from the front and it’s important that we get that.

“We can’t play with individuals, we need a group, and we then backed it up with the performance from the midfield, the back four and Luke (Daniels) in goal.

“That’s the strength of this group. Even the players that don’t come on, the way they train and compete with the other players who are starting is brilliant and we want everybody at the highest level possible because that’s how a successful team works.

“Duane is the only casualty from today’s game and he just fell ill midway through the first-half.

“He felt sick and we thought it might just be a little spell but we brought him off.

“He was fine before the game and going into it so it must have just been something he picked up but hopefully he’ll be okay for Tuesday.”

See much more from Graham Alexander, Tom Hopper and Murray Wallace on The Iron PlayerHD.

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