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A QUALITY ALL-ROUND PERFORMANCE

10 September 2016

Iron manager Graham Alexander was thrilled with his side's performance as they romped to another home win, this time over Southend United.

Two goals in each half from four different scorers saw Paddy Madden net on his return, with Kevin van Veen and Josh Morris both adding to their already growing tallies for the campaign. Debutant Richie Smallwood came off the bench to add a classy fourth for Scunthorpe with three points sealed in emphatic style.

"I thought the players were superb today," he told The Iron PlayerHD.

"We've got our energy levels back and you could see that in the way we passed the ball, we pressed and we played and committed bodies forward and scored four unanswered goals which any manager would be delighted with. I thought my players were superb from minute one until minute ninety for us.

"I'm delighted for Paddy because he's worked extremely hard to get back to a level of fitness. We know what a threat he is and his energy levels and commitment to the team triggers off the rest of the team with the pressing game we try and implement and him and Kev (van Veen) were a handful. 

Southend came out of the traps quickly though and might've gone ahead after just three minutes when Adam Barrett rose highest from a right-winged cross. Luke Daniels pulled off the save of the game to deny him and was reactive to the potential rebound, earning a good ovation from the Iron faithful.

"It was a world class save," he continued.

"I was really disappointed with how the chance came about. I thought we could have defended it a lot better but that's what we expect from Luke but it was a superb save. It gave us the base to go and win the game."

Duane Holmes scooped the Iron Bar Man of the Match for his display in the game, which included two assists and was a massive contributing factor to United's fast-flowing attacking football on show at Glanford Park. Both wingers emerged from the game with another glowing report with Holmes joined once more by Sky Bet League One's player of the month for August Josh Morris getting his sixth league goal of the season with a stylish finish from range.

"I thought he (Duane) was unplayable at times," he stated.

"He committed defenders and once he got past them, there was no catching him and I was desperate for him to score as his performance warranted that. I could talk about each individual and give them a praising report today and I include the lads who came on in that.

"We can't take that (Josh's goal) for granted, the ability to score goals like that, even though that's probably the third one we've seen like that."

"He's got a superb left foot and I've spoken about his work ethic and what he brings to the team this week, but his technical ability is superb as well. It's top notch. He's always probing and looking to attack and it was a great strike - probably the best one he's hit this season.

Scunthorpe's fourth came from Smallwood, sweetly striking on the volley from a half-cleared cross just minutes into his debut after replacing Madden, who left to a standing ovation - likewise to Holmes and Morris who were substituted towards the end of the encounter.

"We actually saw him doing that yesterday with Andy Dawson in training," said Alexander.

"He was hitting them like that yesterday. We know he's a quality player, along with Harry (Toffolo) and Jonny (Margetts) but I thought the lads that started deserved to play because barring the Port Vale game they've been superb this season. It was a quality strike, flush into the top corner and it's introduced him to the Scunthorpe public in a good way."

"It was a quality all-round performance and we have to work hard to maintain it and take this form away from home as well. I couldn't ask for anymore from the players and the motivation is there in training and that has also shown in the performances. That link and connection is there with the supporters. They see the fourteen players used out there busting a gut for that shirt and they're seeing some high quality football and real attacking stuff at the moment and we're delighted with the three points. We've got three points and three points only, so we have to go again next week."

Tom Hopper was absent from the match day squad, with the Iron boss providing an update on the injury situation.

"He picked up an injury earlier in the week during training. It was really innocuous and he's damaged his ankle. It's a big blow for Hops and it's a big blow for us as well. He's been superb for us, so hopefully he will only be out for a few weeks and back in the frame of things. He's a tough lad, so hopefully we will have him back sooner rather than later."

See much more from Graham Alexander, Josh Morris and Duane Holmes on The Iron PlayerHD.

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