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Alexander reacts to Carabao Cup progress

8 August 2017

Manager Graham Alexander was pleased with the way his team performed from half-time onwards in the Carabao Cup first round against Notts County.

Match Reports

Report: Iron 3-3 Notts County (6-5 pens)

8 August 2017

United drew 3-3 after extra-time, with Paddy Madden scoring a brace and Duane Holmes also on target. However, they did eventually see off the Magpies and reach the second round by winning 6-5 on penalties.

Alexander provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after the cup tie, which was played in non-stop rain at Glanford Park.

GA: The first-half wasn’t good enough, without a doubt. We didn’t compete at any level at all to beat any opposition. Notts County were deservedly in front and we had to change at half-time – not only the system, but the team and our mentality. Thankfully, all the players really responded and dug in. They grouped together and decided to really compete at a level that was needed to win a game of football. I was delighted with the response of the team because we were miles better from half-time onwards and created numerous opportunities with some really incisive football. We had to be a bit more ruthless with the chances we had but we’re delighted to score three goals. Obviously, there’s a tinge of disappointment with the goals we conceded, and the times we conceded them. Those goals were blows at the time and could have been body blows we didn’t recover from, but the players showed great mental strength to ‘go again’ numerous times. The boys felt good in the changing room after because we dug ourselves out of a hole, put ourselves back in it a couple of times but we’ve come out smiling and we’re in the next round.

GA: Their energy, pace and mentality to be on the front foot and take the game to Notts County really helped us. They weren’t the only ones – the players themselves who had played in the first half stepped up their performance and competed at a better level. They certainly gave us the belief we could score goals and open them up.

GA: I’m delighted for Paddy himself to get off the mark because it’s been a while since he scored, but his work ethic and commitment to the team has never wavered. He’s never stopped running and working, without much reward sometimes, but he’s always been there to try and get the chances. His run and finish for his second was text book for a striker of his type. We know we won’t score every chance but as long as they keep getting in there and going for it, I’m delighted with that mentality. To be fair to Kevin van Veen and Paddy, they played 120 minutes out there up front and worked incredibly hard for the team. It shows they can do that for long periods and give us a real impetus as a forward pair.

GA: He’s got a knock to his shin so we’ll see how that is on Wednesday. It has to be a sore one for Josh to come off. He’s not the biggest but he’s really brave and works ever so hard. He rarely misses anything, never mind a game. Hopefully it won’t be too serious and we’ll have him back with us. We know we have the majority of a squad we feel can win games and we have options. Those options were clear tonight being able to bring Hakeeb, Duane and Devonte Redmond on, and also Cameron Burgess towards the end.

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