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Alexander: It was deserved

11 November 2017

Manager Graham Alexander said his side’s last-gasp 1-0 home win over Bristol Rovers was fully deserved.

Match Reports

Report: Iron v Bristol Rovers

11 November 2017

Neal Bishop scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time to seal a 1-0 victory for Scunthorpe, and their third win in succession in League One.

The success over the Pirates sees United consolidate their fifth-place position in the table, and also close in on the teams above them.

After the match, Alexander provided his reaction to iFollow Iron and also gave updates on Josh Morris and Simon Church.

ON THE VICTORY…
GA:
It was deserved without a doubt. We were the team who were really pushing the envelope towards the end, and in the second-half really, to win the game. We came up against a very stubborn Bristol Rovers today. They slowed the game down, and defended deep and in numbers. They made it difficult for us and we just needed a little bit of extra quality when we got into the final third. Our mentality was right. We got into the good positions, we just needed to get on the end of a couple of the great crosses that came in and a couple of throughballs. We missed a couple of chances before that but I’m just glad we’re in those positions to miss those chances – that’s the biggest thing. I’m delighted the players continue to commit to those positions and that sort of attacking play. They got their rewards in the end.

ON THE FIVE MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME…
GA:
To be fair to the officials, they put on the right amount of time – they did that and that’s when the winning goal came. Every team has its tactics and they’re all entitled to do what they want – we’ll never complain and say that’s the wrong way or whatever. We just deal with ourselves and always commit to try and win a game. We did that today and we’re delighted because it’s a good three points. It keeps the ball rolling with our recent form in the league. We showed great mentality and resilience to keep going, and keep asking questions of the opposition. We kept it alive and kept going in there – Lee Novak put a great ball into the danger area and Bish was there to finish it off in great fashion and great excitement. It was a reward for all the fans, who backed us all the way right up until the final whistle. I’d have been so frustrated if we’d just got a point out of that game – it would have been two points dropped. We got the three points we definitely deserved and will now go again in Tuesday (against Northampton Town) in the FA Cup.

"I’m delighted the players continue to commit to those positions and that sort of attacking play. They got their rewards in the end."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON A SECOND CLEAN SHEET IN A ROW…
GA:
To get two on the bounce is pleasing. Charlie Goode has come in with Rory McArdle missing. He grew into the game. I thought in the first-half he was indecisive with a few things but in the second-half he played really well and was good on the ball for us, plus he defended his goal very well. I’m delighted for them to get a clean sheet because defenders pride themselves on providing a good base to win games.



ON NEAL BISHOP’S INFLUENCE…
GA:
He trained on Thursday and Friday, and it was down to him to manage the discomfort he has. He’s an honest lad and always wants to play. I thought Andrew Crofts did well last week to be fair, but Bish has had the shirt, done well and deserved to be in the team. He was superb, especially in the second-half when we had to drive forward. He broke from midfield quite a few times. He really led the group of players to get that winning goal and I was delighted for him that he got it.

ON JOSH MORRIS COMING OFF AT HALF-TIME…
GA:
He had a little twinge in his hamstring just before half-time and wanted to continue, but I just thought it was a bit too much of a risk especially after a 15-minute break. Josh is a really resilient lad and hardly every reports anything, so for me that’s a warning sign. Hopefully bringing him off at half-time means we might have him available for next weekend. He’ll be a doubt for Tuesday just on the basis of risk. Hopefully we’ve swerved that one and he’ll be fit for next week.

ON SIMON CHURCH NOT BEING IN THE SQUAD…
GA:
Churchy did something similar at Doncaster just before half-time. We planned to give him 45 minutes, bring him off and keep him safe, but in the 44th minute he felt something. He’s been missing for the last couple of games, but is back running now with the medical staff so hopefully we’ll have him back within a week or ten days.

ON CONOR TOWNSEND RETURNING TO FITNESS…
GA:
He’s trained with us this week but we’ve been really cautious in pushing him too far, too soon. He’s trained fully and got through all the sessions, while he also trained this morning. He looked reasonably fit so could come back into the squad for Tuesday but we’ll see how he is on Monday morning before we make that decision.

See much more from Graham Alexander on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

Click here to access our Iron v Bristol Rovers match centre.


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