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20 August 2017

Rory McArdle said the Iron players were 'over the moon' after defeating Oxford United and registering their first win of the 2017-18 league season.

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📺 iFollow: Extended Oxford United highlights

20 August 2017

The Scunthorpe skipper spoke to iFollow Iron after the victory over the U's, which was secured by a late Josh Morris winner, and the 30-year-old says his team are heading in the right direction.

ON THE FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON…
RM: Everyone is over the moon. We knew it would be a tough game on Saturday as Oxford have had a good start. We always thought a win on Saturday would make the two draws into positive draws so now that we’ve got that we’re up and running. We’ve got the clean sheet as well so it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s early in the season but we’re going in the right direction.

"We’ve got the clean sheet as well so it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s early in the season but we’re going in the right direction."

Rory McArdle, defender

ON THE CLEAN SHEET…
RM: It was massive but I think that it comes from everybody. For example, if you look at Paddy’s (Paddy Madden) closing down up front from the start. Plus, Hopps (Tom Hopper) has come on and he really put himself about. It gives us that chance to stay up the pitch and makes our jobs a lot easier. We’re delighted with everyone in front of us like Bish (Neal Bishop) and Funso (Ojo) as well.

ON JOSH MORRIS' GOAL…
RM: The standards that he set himself last year were brilliant. I see him day in, day out and he scores all sorts of goals. He assists, he makes things happen and it was only a matter of time before he got up and running. He’s had a few hits and misses but it’s just important that he doesn’t get frustrated with it. As you saw on Saturday, he kept going, came into the inside and got a few shots off early on. It was great to see that one go in.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MATT GILKS’ SAVES…
RM: They always left two players at the top of the pitch which we expected. If we got a clearance then we knew that we had to be on our toes. I know what Gilksy is like. The saves that he makes in training, the intensity that he trains at and the standards that he sets puts him in the right place when he’s called upon. He makes those big saves. I don’t think how hard he works and the performances that he has in games is a coincidence. We’re going to need him. Us, as defenders don’t want the ball to get that far and if we can block it then that’s even better. However, we know that if for whatever reason something does get past us, Gilks is there to try and bail us out of it.

ON HEADING INTO MIDDLESBROUGH WITH A WIN…
RM: It gives us a massive confidence boost and to keep a clean sheet as well is a base to build upon. It’s going to be tough going up there but there’s no reason that we can’t win. We look forward to it. It’s going to be a great game, the pitch will be good, the stadium speaks for itself and the quality that they have will make it a challenge for us but it’s a challenge that I’m sure everyone in the squad is looking forward to.

Rory McArdle

ON CALLING UPON HIS OWN PAST CUP SUCCESS…
RM: I hope it will help. I think you just find yourself concentrating that little bit harder because you know that if you have one little slip then you’ll get punished (facing teams at a higher level). The lads will expect a tough game. Everyone will relish it but it’s important that we don’t just turn over because we want to make a game of it and get to the next round.

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