Iron manager Graham Alexander praised his side’s attitude after twice coming from behind to beat Port Vale 3-2.Tyler Walker opened the scoring for the Valiants before Josh Morris levelled with a penalty but JJ Hooper’s strike soon after put the away side back in front.
Further goals from Ivan Toney, his first in United colours, and substitute Tom Hopper settled the contest to secure a big three points and Alexander was naturally delighted post-match.
He told The Iron PlayerHD: “It was a big challenge for us, being a goal down twice in the game so every credit to the players.
“They showed great courage and commitment to their game to score the goals to win it.
“It was a serious test for us today, we knew that would be the case because they’ve got good players.
“We upped our tempo in the second-half, scored three goals and it’s really pleasing to win the game.
“It’s not always going to go our way and we talk about this – games last 95 minutes and we have to be ready to adapt to anything negative that happens, like their two goals today.
“We’re delighted with the win because it was a big test and it’s a big three points for us.”
The large downpour of rain threatened to halt the flow of Scunthorpe’s play but Morris’ initial equaliser and clinical finishes from Toney and Hopper ensured victory.
Particularly pleased to see Toney open his account for the club, Alexander also praised the impact fellow forward Hopper made following his introduction.
“We felt that Craig (Davies) and Ivan deserved their chance to start,” he continued.
“Ivan grew into the game as it went along and his finish was superb. He showed great quality.
“We know he’s a real goal threat and then the time was right to bring Hopps on and it was a fantastic finish from him.
“He’s always there to try and score and it was a great finish. I’m really pleased for Hopps, he deserves it because he always gives us everything he’s got.
“I’m delighted with the quality of the second two goals and the composure shown with the penalty from Josh was superb at a big point in the game.”
That victory puts United back to the top of the divisional table but Alexander insists it’s important the team focus purely on just continuing to pick up points, whilst also issuing an update on Jordan Clarke, who missed the game through injury.
The boss added: “Like I said when we came off the top, it’s about the points tally.
“There was no big crisis from us here after dropping to third as we were still on course for the points tally that we believe will be successful.
“The players have shown great courage and we’ve continued to win games. December was a tough month but we’ve come through it and we’re winning games again.
“Jordan Clarke picked up a hamstring injury in training before the Charlton game so we’ll see how it is as the weeks progress.
“It was shame to lose him but I don’t think it’ll be too long before he’s back.
“It’s down to the rehab he does now and we’ll see how he goes.”
Meanwhile, the fixture was United’s first at Glanford Park since the passing of Vice President Graham Taylor OBE and Alexander wished to dedicate the three points to both him and his family.
He said: “I met his family before the game and just said that I hoped we could give them something to smile about.
“I dedicated the win (against Northampton) last time to the memory of Graham Taylor and I’d like to do that today as well, especially with his family being here and with him having such a strong connection with our club.
“It was great speaking to his wife before the game about how much he loved Scunthorpe.
“Hopefully the win today was a fitting tribute and a reminder that this club holds the memory of Graham with great affection.”
See much more from Graham Alexander and Ivan Toney on The Iron PlayerHD.
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