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Match Reports

GREAT DEFENSIVE DESIRE

1 March 2016

On reflection, Scunthorpe manager Nick Daws felt a point against Walsall was a fair reflection of the game, although on another day they might have snatched victory.

“We were really pleased with the way we started,” he told The Iron PlayerHD.

“We asked the players to be calm, to keep composure and to keep control of the ball in the early stages and we managed to do that. We then slipped into a situation where I think we were trying a little too hard. We tried to play through them and counter too quickly and they retained the ball better in the first half than we did.

“When we did win it back, I thought we were a threat but in the second half it was the reverse. We showed more composure and I think they showed a little bit of frustration and ultimately we are slightly disappointed that after staying really resilient in the opening periods that we didn’t go on to snatch it.”

It’s now four clean sheets from the seven games since Daws took stewardship of the team alongside Andy Dawson, another pleasing aspect to the Iron’s performances in recent weeks.

“We’ve asked the team to defend as a group,” he continued.

“Paddy Madden tracking back from an attacking position to block a shot from Rico Henry in the first minute of added time just summed up the defensive desire to work for each other.

“Luke Daniels has dealt with things when he needed to, the full backs were strong defensively and were outstanding and the boys in front of them backed them.

“We always talk about it being a team effort to defend, so we’re really pleased and to limit them at home with the quality they have and not give them clear-cut opportunities was really, really pleasing.”

The Iron were forced into a half time chance as Greg Luer came off with an injury. Tom Hopper, who had started the previous six games, returned to the on-field eleven.

“Greg Luer came off at half time with a nasty gash on the back of his leg which is unfortunate for him,” he stated.

“A combination of his injury and him having to come too deep at times meant that we didn’t see the best of him. He’ll be desperate to get back. In the second half, Tom came on and was a really good outlet. He worked as hard as he normally works and nearly got his rewards after causing them problems.

“Tom needed a little breather and we’ve talked about the strength of the squad. We were forced into the change with Jordan Clarke coming off with cramp in the last few minutes. We were hoping to perhaps get Kyle Wootton on to make that third attacking substitution to win the game.

“Our intention is to win every game we go into, so that was a slight frustration. We now look forward to Gillingham and the upcoming five games will test us physically, mentally and our strength as a squad.”

Daws also mentioned the passing of Iron fan Michael Brook at the end of his press conference after falling ill after Saturday’s home match and sadly dying later in hospital.

He said: “To touch on the sad events at the weekend, it makes us reflect on the important things in life and we’ve lost one of our supporters at the weekend – Michael Brook – and that’s sad. 

“We do wish his family all the best at this difficult time and the football club will support them as best as we can and they’ll be in our thoughts.”

See much more from Nick Daws, David Mirfin and Conor Townsend on The Iron PlayerHD.

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