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Interviews

Alexander provides team news and views ahead of Walsall away

8 December 2017

Manager Graham Alexander wants his side to go into the Walsall game with the right frame of mind after two losses in cup competitions.

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Pay on the turnstile at Walsall

8 December 2017

United have suffered defeat in the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy during this past week, but have won their last six league games and sit in third position in the Sky Bet League One table.

Ahead of the Walsall clash, Alexander spoke to iFollow Iron about the game, provided the team news for it and also commented on his nomination for manager of the month for November.

ON THE WALSALL GAME…
GA: We will have to play better than we have done in the last two games, or at least at the start of the games. We put ourselves on the back foot early on in both of the games and conceded in those periods, which made it difficult for us to get a result. The players have done exceptionally well this season and I’m not going to let the last two results cloud my judgement for the team on Saturday. Going into the game on Saturday, all of the lads would have played 90 minutes, so physically they are in good shape. The most important thing is that we go and play like a Scunthorpe team, play like how we train and take that into the game against Walsall. We want to continue our excellent run in the league.

ON WANTING TO BOUNCE BACK AT THE WEEKEND…
GA: We always try to take lessons learnt from each game and implement them in the next one. We don’t get too high when we’re winning and we don’t get too low when we don’t win. If we keep a consistent mindset, we will get consistent performances, which will provide consistent results.

"The most important thing is that we go and play like a Scunthorpe team, play like how we train and take that into the game against Walsall. We want to continue our excellent run in the league."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON THE SADDLERS AS A TEAM…
GA: They have got good technical players, they play a certain way and they have stuck to that over the last few years. We will have to go with the right mental process. Our mental approach has to be spot on from minute one. We don’t want to put ourselves on the back foot at the start of the game because Walsall will be determined to get a result in front of their home fans. We have to implement our game plan, our mentality and our approach on the game to Walsall.

ON FUNSO OJO, WHO'S MISSED THE LAST TWO GAMES…
GA: He was out on the grass with us for the warm-up on Wednesday and then he went separately with the sports science department to do an individual session. We will make a decision on Friday on him when we go through our team preparation. We’re giving him the best chance without pushing him too much just for one game. He is about 50/50 at the moment.

ON SIMON CHURCH…
GA: We had to take our time with Church because he has had his issues of the last 12 months. He came off the bench in both games (Doncaster and Leicester Under-21s) and looked really sharp and lively. It’s great to have him back. He is a great character, really infectious and we know of his quality on the pitch. That’s a big boost for us in the forward areas.

Videos

📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander previews league trip to Walsall

6 December 2017

ON THE LONG-TERM ABSENTEES…
GA: They are still a while away. They are obviously closer to return to action, but not in contention for any of the next three or four matchdays. If they carry on with the way they are going, then hopefully we’re looking at New Year. We've had the injury news with Jordan (Clarke) so he is going to be out for quite a while. He will be going for surgery at the weekend. How that goes will depend on his recovery time. It’s a significant injury and he will be out for a while.

ON BEING NOMINATED FOR MANGER OF THE MONTH…
GA: We had a good month as a team. It’s important that we put these consistent performances together and results if we want to get to where we want to be at the end of the season. It acknowledges the results, not my particular work or Matt Gilks’ (who has been nominated for the player of the month award), it’s the team’s work. It is always good recognition of the work everybody does here at the club. Hopefully it will be replicated in results going forward.

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