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Alexander delighted to clinch top six place

17 April 2017

Iron manager Graham Alexander was in jubilant mood after seeing his side dominate large periods of the Easter Monday clash with Chesterfield.

An own goal from Paul McGinn put United ahead before Ivan Toney’s double settled the fixture and despite a late consolation from Tom Anderson, all three points were secured at Glanford Park.

Predictably pleased with the 3-1 outcome, Alexander also praised the team’s performance in general post-match, as Scunthorpe confirmed their League One play-off spot.

He told The Iron PlayerHD: “We’re delighted. To get at least a play-off position with two games to go is great.

“We’ve won five of our last seven so it’s great to see that the players are still believing in what we’re doing and still have the ambition to be part of the promotion shake-up.

“I’m delighted today to get three points because it could have been a potential banana skin but we did a professional job and deserved it.

“I thought we could have done more but the players more than did enough to win today. The players wanted to win convincingly and we did that so we have to take all the positives into next week’s match.”

Newcastle United loanee Toney was impressive throughout and has now notched six goals during his temporary spell from the Championship club, including three in his last two appearances. 

Keen to keep the momentum gained in recent matches ticking, Alexander wants to see a repeat of that standard of display going forward. 

“Ivan’s first goal was an unbelievable, towering header against a goalkeeper of that size,” the boss continued.

“His first showed a desire to win that ball and score. It’s great for him but he knows as well as anybody else that it’s about the whole team.

“We’ve done enough over the past few weeks to get the points on the board and have a shot at promotion. We’re at the business end of the season now and it’s important we keep racking up those points.

“Superb credit to the players for digging ourselves out of that hole that we were in and showing that we’re still here, fighting and desperate to be successful.

“The last two games especially have been top quality performances, really professional, really courageous and we’ve controlled the games how we wanted to control them.”

The Iron are now guaranteed a top six finish after the Spireites success and other results going the club’s way.

Insistent that positive scorelines in the two remaining third tier matches are key, Alexander hopes it will put United in a good position heading into the end of season play-offs.

He added: “We have to make sure our motivation is higher than any other opponent, individually and as a team.

“Swindon next week is going to be a tough place to go and we’re going to have to be at our best to take the three points.

“We have to get that recovery in this week and then we have to make sure we’re ready for the next game. We don’t want to go there half-hearted and unprepared so we’ll do a lot of work this week.

“The players are doing superbly off the pitch and it’s coming to fruition in the games.

“We want to win these next two games – we want the points. I know I can make some changes and keep the strength of the team but it’s also about keeping momentum with the team selection.”

See much more from Graham Alexander and Murray Wallace on The Iron PlayerHD.

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