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We know the challenge

3 May 2017

United manager Graham Alexander wants his players to build an impressive recent run of form in their play-off semi-final first leg against Millwall.

Alexander’s side head to the Den on Thursday night off the back of five successive league wins, and the Scunthorpe boss is aiming for a sixth.

Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD, Alexander said: “We know the challenge ahead, but we have to focus on ourselves.

“I know the players are confident in what they’re doing when they go out on the pitch, and that gives us the best chance of winning.

“All the teams in the play-offs are good teams, and they’ve all picked up good results over the course of ten months.

“We have to make sure we continue doing what we have been over the last month or so. We’ve been really positive in our mindset and the players have played with great freedom, even though there was a lot of pressure on those games.

“That stands us in good stead. Over the course of the last ten months we’ve played a lot of big games in big atmospheres, and I think we’ve handled it really well.”

Despite the reward on offer for the victor though, Alexander is confident the squad will not be overawed by the occasion.

“We’ve got to cut out the nature of the game, the prize at stake, the atmosphere, and we’ve got to focus on the facts,” he stated.

“Which is our level of performance and what the opposition can bring to the game, and we have to make sure ours is better than Millwall’s.

“Whoever we would have played would have been a tough game. Each team finishes in the top six for a reason, but we believe we’ve got as good a chance as anyone to be successful.”

In terms of selection, Alexander says there’s no fresh concerns ahead of the fixture, with full-back Scott Wiseman being assessed after suffering a knee injury at Swindon Town recently.

“Jordan (Clarke) got a bit of cramp towards the end of the game, because he’s missed quite a bit of football recently,” Alexander revealed.

“We’re going to look at Scott Wiseman over the next couple of days, and I’d still take him as 50/50 - so we’ll see how he is.

“We’ve also got Levi (Sutton) there, who came on in the game on Sunday and did an excellent job, so if we miss one we know we’ve got two others.

“That’s the only concern going into the game on Thursday, apart from the obvious ones who have been missing for the last month or so.”

See much more from Graham Alexander and Duane Holmes on The Iron PlayerHD.

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