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Alexander reacts to Peterborough win

21 October 2017

Graham Alexander was delighted for his players after they came from behind to defeat Peterborough United 2-1 at Glanford Park on Saturday.

Match Reports

Report: Iron v Peterborough United

21 October 2017

Lee Novak and Josh Morris (with a penalty) sealed a turnaround for Scunthorpe, who were a goal down ten minutes from time.

After the game, Alexander spoke to iFollow Iron about the victory.

I’m delighted for the players because it’s tough when you’re not winning, and you have to get your head down and take the punches. They deserve to go home happy tonight. It was the third game inside eight days. I saw the physical statistics from the last two games and they were really high. It was a fault on my part not changing the team and freshening it up. I wanted to show confidence in the team who had played really well in the last two games and take it into this game, but it didn’t quite work out that way. In the end, we got it right and got a very valuable win. It’s three points we deserve – not from today’s game, I must stress that we weren’t the better team on the day, but for the lads’ efforts over the last couple of weeks.

We were the best in the EFL last season for coming from behind and winning points. It’s great to have that in your armoury, but I’d rather win games an easier way. Winning is the thing we’re here for though.

We all go through tough times when we might doubt ourselves, but we have to believe in the ability we have and the opportunity we’ve got this season to win games and be successful. We’ve had to give the players a little bit of confidence and a little bit of love. It’s easy to love them when they’re winning, but our job is to love them when they’re not, and help them get the best out of each other. We showed that in the last 20-25 minutes of the game, and we managed to get two goals in that period. We could have added a couple more with the opportunities we had, but Peterborough had their threats as well and I’m sure they’re feeling a bit sore after that game.

In the first-half, we put three or four superb crosses into great areas but we’re not in there. We’re taking ourselves out to non-goalscoring positions. It’s something we spoke about at half-time. We’re getting great delivery into certain zones and players have to be there, and not just think it’ll go in around the back, because you don’t score from there. It was great build-up for the goal. Haks (Hakeeb Adelakun) showed superb skill in the wide area and it was a fantastic ball, but if nobody is there to finish it off it’s a waste of time. It was a superb header from Lee Novak in a great position. I think Simon Church was coming in behind him as well, so that’s what we have to build on.

I spoke to him the other day and said if it hadn’t been for the form of Duane Holmes in the last couple of games, he’d be playing. He’s trained well and being positive in the games when he has come on. Duane was exhausted and we brought him off for that at half-time, and Haks certainly ignited us at the start of the second-half and I thought we were the better team in the second period until they scored. That knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit, but every time we got the ball to Hakeeb he created problems.

We got a phone call that he was looking for a club at the start of the week. I rang him on Monday night and had a conversation with him, inviting him to come and train with us on Thursday. I know of his quality. He’s been off the radar for about a year but I asked if we could see him and he was more than willing to come and do that. He told me a bit about his motivation, which was good – not just relying on his back catalogue. He trained with us on Thursday morning and I took him back out on his own on Thursday afternoon to work him physically and finishing-wise, and he impressed us in just one day. It was a bit of a gamble putting him on the bench but we thought if there were 15-20 minutes left and we needed a goal then he has the experience and quality, and might give us something. He played a part in the first goal and was back in the box for the cross, then he read a backpass, took a lovely touch past the goalkeeper and was brought down to get the penalty that ultimately won us the game. It was a great introduction from him to everybody and hopefully it can continue.

He had a great opportunity a little bit before that, but missing that chance didn’t affect him. He showed great composure but it was a quality penalty. The goalkeeper guessed the right way but we’re delighted for Josh. The thing with him is he wants that responsibility. He knows it could go the other way but he’s prepared to put himself out there, and that’s what we need to be as a team. You have to play with risk and put yourself out there to be shot at. I think if you keep doing that, success comes your way.

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