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MANAGER READY FOR LEAGUE RETURN

9 December 2016

Graham Alexander has challenged his players to keep up the levels which have seen his side rise to the top of the table this season.

Alexander’s men travel to Spotland to face Rochdale on Saturday, and the United boss doesn’t expect another win to come easily.

Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD ahead of the game, Alexander said: “They’re a good team, and they’ve got good players.

“They’ve been consistent over a few years now. They had a difficult start to the season but you always felt, with the players they had on board, that they’d rise up the league.

“As I always say, regardless of where the opposition are in the table, we always look at the facts and figures of what they can do.”

Discussing those standards he expects from the squad, Alexander didn’t feel they were fully reached in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy victory over Morecambe.

Whilst honing in on the good points of the performance, the Scunthorpe gaffer stated he will always push the team - because he knows what they’re capable of.

“We try to run the squad by high standards, and it’s important we maintain them. If we feel we’ve gone below them, then we have to address that,” he explained.

“We’ll never be shy of doing that, and I think the players respond to that honesty. They’re honest themselves, which is good, and they expect the best from themselves, which is another positive.

“We have to keep going forward like that, but there was a lot of good stuff as well. I just feel we could have done a little better to make sure we got the positive result, which we did in the end.”

He also spoke about those currently out injured, and revealed that everyone is going along well with their respective recovery programmes.

“They’re all progressing in the right way - some quicker than others,” Alexander revealed.

“It’s important we don’t rush players ahead of the time, because there is still a long way to go this season, so we need to maintain their progress in their rehab.

“They’re in the best hands with the medical team here and, when they’re fit and ready to be involved, they’ll get that opportunity.

“Duane Holmes was ill, but he’s been back in training. However, Jamie Ness has missed out because of an illness he’s picked up.”

See much more from Graham Alexander, Luke Daniels and Conor Townsend on The Iron PlayerHD.

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