Iron boss Graham Alexander highlighted some areas for improvement after the 5-3 penalty shootout victory over Morecambe in the Checkatrade Trophy.Sam Mantom fired United ahead early on before a Ryan Edwards header for the away side levelled things up and 1-1 was how things remained at the end of normal time.
Joe Anyon made a good save to give Scunthorpe an advantage in the shootout and Luke Williams’ decisive spot kick ensured safe passage through to Round Three.
Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD afterwards, Alexander said: “I’m happy that we’ve won the game but to be honest, we have to be a little better than that.
“I thought we started the match really well, we scored a fantastic goal and created some really good opportunities.
“We probably did that all the way through the game really but we also gave far too many chances away and we didn’t stop Morecambe playing how they wanted to play.
“It became a very difficult night for us and I think it was a little bit of a wake-up call for everybody that we cannot drop our levels against any opponent. We have to be ruthless with each other.
“We’ve got to be honest and perform better. I’m not taking anything away from Morecambe but after that start, our performance slowly got a bit sloppy and we never really recovered.
“We had some good spells but it was very end to end for me and we need to be better.”
Positives to come out of the fixture included that superb aforementioned Mantom goal as well as five confidently taken penalties.
Keen to heap praise on the midfield man’s performance, Alexander also stressed his side have to maintain the high standards set this season in order to keep on progressing.
“There were certain individuals that played to the level that we expect of them to be fair,” he continued.
“As a group we didn’t really do that but Sam scored a fantastic goal which we know he’s well capable of and I thought he was our best player tonight.
“The five penalties were superbly taken, very composed and Joe has pulled off a save from the first penalty to win us the game.
“He also made a good stop towards the end of the 90 minutes and we’re obviously glad Joe did that because he’s enabled us to get through to penalties but we gave chances away far too easily tonight.
“That’s the whole team; I’m not just looking at certain individuals or the back four. We have to be a lot better than that.
“I’m not going to go overboard with the players because the results speak for themselves and they’ve been superb this season but we have to be honest with each other if we want to be a progressive team and improve.”
The Glanford Park success means Scunthorpe maintain their impressive string of results in the competition and now go through to an open draw, with a slot in Round Four up for grabs.
Alexander added: “The players have set high standards and I want them to maintain them for the next six months.
“It’s my job, if I feel it’s dropping below that level, to bring it back up.
“We’re delighted to get through to the next round because this competition has been good for us so far.”
See much more from Graham Alexander, Sam Mantom and Joe Anyon on The Iron PlayerHD.
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