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WE HAVE TO BUILD ON THAT

14 March 2017

Iron manager Graham Alexander was full of praise for his players after the 2-1 comeback win against Rochdale.

The visitors went ahead just prior to half-time when Ian Henderson headed home from close range but Paddy Madden glanced in an equaliser before Matt Crooks’ 93rd minute strike sealed a superb victory for United.

Predictably pleased to see Scunthorpe make a return to winning ways, Alexander highlighted the need to build on this result going forward.

He told The Iron PlayerHD: “It’s been a long time coming but if we look back at the last three games especially then we’ve definitely deserved more than we’ve got, without a doubt.

“To get the win in that fashion is something we have to use now and build on for these last eight games to give ourselves the best chance of winning points.

“In the second-half when we really committed to the game, we were very good.

“It was a difficult game for both teams because we’ve both been on a poor run but I thought Rochdale deserved to be 1-0 up at half-time.

“We had to really come out of the blocks in the second-half, which we did, and I’m delighted for the players.

“The results over the last few weeks could have knocked the stuffing out of them, because the performances have been very good, but they know they have it within them to turn around performances and get wins.”

Madden bagged for the second game in succession whilst the late goal from Rangers loanee Crooks was his first in Scunthorpe colours.

Thrilled to see both players on the scoresheet, Alexander was similarly quick to applaud the side as a whole for the mentality shown at Glanford Park.

“I’m so proud and pleased for the players because I’ve been there when nothing seems to go for you,” he continued.

“It’s easy to feel sorry for yourselves but in the second-half we certainly didn’t do that. We let go of the shackles, committed bodies forward and created some frightening chances.

“To score the winner like that with a fantastic strike was really special but we have to build on it.

“If you look at our first goal, it was a fantastic tackle initially (from Crooks) and it set the tone for the rest of the half.

“It was a fantastic equaliser, a great move and Paddy has finished it off with a fantastic header.

“Then Crooksy popped up with the winner at the end. It was a difficult ball to hit on the half-volley but it nestled in the corner and was a fantastic strike.

“The players kept at it and from front to back, they deserved it.”

Tuesday night’s three point haul ensures United maintain their strong promotion push at the top end of League One, with thoughts now beginning to turn towards an away clash at Oxford this coming weekend.

Striker Kevin van Veen was forced to leave proceedings during the opening period against Dale and Alexander also went on to issue an update on the Dutchman’s condition.

The boss added: “We have to take all the good stuff from tonight, improve and take the confidence into the next game.

“We dug ourselves out of a hole through sheer will and determination and it’s good to see.

“Kev came off and I think he’s tweaked his hamstring so that was an early sub but I brought Haks (Hakeeb Adelakun) back into the squad tonight for a reason.

“I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago and again yesterday about his focus on the game and if he does that alright then the quality will show.

“We all have to use this as a springboard - I’ve said that to the players and they’ve said that as well.

“They know what the challenge is for the next eight games and they’re up for it.”

See much more from Graham Alexander and Matt Crooks on The Iron PlayerHD.

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