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IT WAS A VERY GOOD TEST FOR US TODAY

30 July 2016

United manager Graham Alexander was pleased that his players got more minutes under their belt as the Iron rounded off pre-season with a 1-0 victory over Hartlepool United.

Kevin van Veen scored the only goal of the game after nine minutes, slotting home after good work down the left from Stephen Dawson and Josh Morris. Scunthorpe were made to defend in the second half with good blocks and saves from the defence and goalkeeper Luke Daniels respectively, with just seven days until the season opener against Bristol Rovers.

"It was important that the majority of players got 90 minutes and they got that today," he told The Iron PlayerHD.

"It's important that they can stretch their legs and lungs for that length of time. Hartlepool were very good and it was a good test for us today. They really stretched us. We can play better and we need to play better but like I've said in the previous games when we've won and lost, it is about identifying areas we need to prove on and I think we've done that again today.

"They moved the ball really well and have very capable players. We could have done things quicker and we need to make sure we iron out these issues before we get to next week.

"We want to hit the ground running but it is pre-season and we have to take that into account."

The Iron registered a clean sheet with Daniels twice pulling off superb saves in the second half, along with the United defenders throwing themselves in to block late efforts from the hosts.

"There were some very good performances out there," he continued.

"They did exactly what we're looking for. That sort of commitment to their game and their performance was there for everybody to see. We need to make sure we're getting that from the whole team and anyone that comes on because we need to do that to win games in League One.

"It's a clean sheet, which is important. We have to get back to good defensive habits like we had last season and take them into this season."

Looking ahead to the forthcoming week, all focus now turns to Bristol Rovers as the League One campaign gets underway. The Iron boss is looking forward to the season and feels his side are ready to get going.

"We go back to the usual set-up during the week," he stated.

"It still includes hard training because we do that anyway regardless of it being pre-season or not. It's now tapered towards the lads hitting their peak on Saturday and we will be getting the boys ready for the test.

"We're just about ready now and we now have to get down to the nitty-gritty of three points being at stake. We're looking forward to the supporters coming down and getting that real matchday atmosphere. The players have worked extremely hard this pre-season and we want the players to be as fully prepared as possible."

See much more from Iron manager Graham Alexander on The Iron PlayerHD.

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