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ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO BOLTON CLASH

30 December 2016

Iron boss Graham Alexander says he’s confident his players can get a positive result from the New Year’s Eve clash with Bolton Wanderers.

Saturday’s fixture at the Macron Stadium will see first-placed United take on a Trotters side who are only two points behind the Iron in third place, and Alexander knows exactly what challenge lies in wait.

Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD, Alexander said: “We know that it’s two teams at the top of table who will be desperate to win the game.

“It’s a great environment for the players to go and compete in. It’s a fantastic ground, and it’s against a massive club.

“The players are looking forward to it, and so am I. I’m looking forward to seeing my team compete and play at the level they can.

“These players have been superb so far this season and there’s a lot of work to go, but just seeing them go out there and commit to the game, commit for their teammates and for their club gives me a tremendous buzz.

“We have to focus on what we can influence, and that’s what goes on out there on the pitch.

“We know the threats of Bolton, we know the quality they have, and I’m sure they know the threats and quality of us.”

Alexander declared that all of the squad came through the Boxing Day encounter with Bradford City unscathed - something he was naturally delighted to see.

“It was a tough, physical game, as they all are in League One,” he stated.

“My players committed to it as much as they always do - the physical stats were fantastic.

“They have to find the professionalism to go and commit to the next game, and they’ve done that really well this season.

“We have to continue to do that, because it’s shown in our results, and it’s helped us to manage our performances.”

Regarding those who won’t be involved on Saturday, Alexander is relaxed about the fitness of both David Mirfin and Conor Townsend.

He conceded that it’s always a concern to not have a full squad to choose from, but stated the two defenders are extremely motivated to return as soon as possible.

“Mirf (David Mirfin) has plateaued out a little bit, and he’s not really improved that much in the past couple of weeks,” he revealed.

“He hasn’t gone backwards, but it’s slowed down his rehab, so that’s something we hope speeds up in the next couple of days.

“The nature of the injury for David is a real awkward one, and we were told this could be the case when we got to this stage.

“Conor (Townsend) got through surgery really well, and he’s felt the benefit of that already. He’s already back on the bike, and trying to get back up to fitness.”

The Scunthorpe manager expressed his gratitude to the United supporters, who once again travelled in their droves, this time to Bradford on Boxing Day.

Alexander highlighted: “There’s a lot of expenditure around Christmas time, and there are a lot of games.

“That support at Bradford was superb, because there were 21,000 home fans, and we could hear our supporters giving us that backing.

“I’ve said it many times before that it definitely has a part to play in our performance. It’s appreciated by everybody, it really is.

“We talk about that atmosphere that they (the supporters) create, in the changing room after games, and I’m sure we will get that again, at Bolton.”

See much more from Graham Alexander, Luke Daniels and Neal Bishop on The Iron PlayerHD.

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