Iron manager Graham Alexander hailed his side’s resilient performance following the goalless Boxing Day draw with Bradford City.Both sides had their chances on a fiercely contested December afternoon in West Yorkshire but honours even was how it ultimately finished.
Whilst naturally disappointed not to pick up all three points, Alexander was pleased his team added another hard-fought point to their seasonal tally.
He told The Iron PlayerHD: “We’ll take the point. I think it was a really hard-fought game, as we expected.
“It was tight and one goal would probably have decided it but neither side could quite make that breakthrough.
“We’re delighted to come here, keep a clean sheet and it’s another point on our tally so we’re content. We’re not over the moon about it but we’re content with the outcome.
“They’ve got very good plyers, the crowd make it a hostile environment and they’re always a threat because of their delivery and attacking options.
“We tried to keep them down to a minimum, which was difficult at times but that’s part of the game.
“We know we could have played better with the ball at times but when you’re in the heat of battle, it’s sometimes hard to flick that switch and have the composure needed to win the game.”
The stalemate ensured Scunthorpe maintain their position at the top of the League One table, with just one game left to contest in 2016.
Particularly pleased with the way his side coped in front of a large and raucous home backing, Alexander stressed it’s those instances that will pay dividends over the course of the season.
“In general, we’re happy with how we competed with that,” he continued.
“When it was down to the final third in the box, to a man our players defended exceptionally well.
“If needed, we had Luke Daniels behind them to be safe and I thought second-half we grew into the game a bit better.
“We had a few more attacking options in the second-half and a couple of real guilt edged chances. If we’d have taken one of those then we could have gone on to win the game.
“On Saturday we’re off to another massive club with another massive backing that certainly play their part in what happens out on the pitch.
“I’m sure we’ll face a similar opponent and we know it’ll be a tough game but I’m sure Bradford will say they’ve come up against a good team that are hard to break down today and hopefully Bolton will say the same on Saturday.
“We can play better on the ball but for the resilience, work ethic and team spirit, that was a great performance today.”
Backed by almost 1,600 Iron fans, the boss was full of praise for the travelling support at what is always a tough time of year for all supporters financially.
Alexander later went on to confirm the club are attempting to finalise a deal to keep defender Harry Toffolo in North Lincolnshire as the January transfer window approaches.
He added: “Fantastic (the support). The players could see that and it was well appreciated at the end of the game.
“The supporters see the effort that the players have put in and it builds up a resilience between the whole group; the supporters and the players.
“The backing today was fantastic and hopefully we’ve given them something to smile about and they can see that not only can their team score goals and play good football but they can dig in when needed and grind out results.
“That was all on show today and it was fantastic to see from everybody, the crowd included.
“We’re trying to finalise a deal to keep him (Toffolo) with us. He’s done exceptionally well and he’s a very good player.
“His loan is up so we’ve made contact (with his parent club, Norwich City).
“Harry wants to stay, I want him to stay, everyone else at the club wants him to stay and I think Norwich are happy with that as well so hopefully we can get it over the line.”
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