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Daws: A performance full of character

14 April 2018

Interim manager Nick Daws was proud of his players following a hard-earned 1-0 win at play-off rivals Charlton Athletic.

It was a big victory, which took United back up to fifth in the League One table, and was secured through Ivan Toney’s 31st minute effort from close range.

Not only did it see the Iron climb four places in the league, but the game also saw a first win since the start of February, a first clean sheet since the beginning of January and the first victory at the Valley for Scunthorpe since 1963.

After the game, Daws spoke to iFollow Iron about the performance, the goal, the importance of the fans and a fresh setback for midfielder Luke Williams.

It was a 95-minute performance. I thought we bought into what we’d planned. We were composed defensively and that was the foundation for it. The attacking play built momentum. Early on, I just felt we were a little bit sloppy but we stuck to what we asked for and the shape of the team was excellent. The front four players gave us the type of performance that they did previously against Oxford, that was just missing a little bit against AFC Wimbledon. The defenders defended for their lives, we passed the ball, were composed and when we needed to dig in and repel the balls coming into the box at the end of the game, we dealt pretty well with that as well. To come here in such a big game after a lot of things have been labelled at us across the course of the season (and win like this) shows this team has character. It’s been a difficult week because the Wimbledon performance wasn’t as good as it should have been. Charlton also found out how difficult they (Wimbledon) can be in midweek. I’m really pleased, the staff have been excellent. The players have committed to everything we’ve asked them to and I’ve now put the responsibility on them to build on what was a great performance in a big stadium and come home to Glanford Park and generate that same type of performance, and to get the number of wins we need to achieve our objective.

We’ve played three games since Andy and I took over and, in that time, we’ve created more opportunities than the opposition. We probably could have been a little more clinical again because their goalkeeper made some outstanding saves and they defended well too. To get that victory to kickstart it, and keep a clean sheet, is great. We stepped up to the plate and defended incredibly well, and it’s onwards and upwards really. Gillo (Matt Gilks) was called upon when necessary but we need to enjoy this moment and then focus on the next game.

He’s a massive talent. He knows where the goal is and at his best he’s as good as anybody at this level. He just needs to keep developing. We asked Hakeeb (Adelakun), when he got in those areas, to stick those early crosses in because we knew our striker would be in the position to score the goal. Credit to everybody, we’ve come here and really performed. The over-riding emotion is one of pride. If they’d have scored late on, it would have been really harsh on us but all we can do is affect our performance. In the main, that was excellent today. 

The away fans come and create a real noise. What we need is for Glanford Park to be an arena of noise. Even if there are only 3,500/4,000 there, they need to do that. They are such a valuable asset. They are our 12th Man and we need them all to get right behind for the run-in. We really want to get to Glanford Park now. We’ve had three consecutive long journeys, and what we now need to do is replicate this performance at home.

Luke has been great. He’s been so close and really caught the eye in training this week. He really challenged Duane Holmes and Cameron McGeehan for that position because he’s an intelligent footballer and he would have travelled with us (for this game). I wanted him involved because he is a talent, but unfortunately he has just tweaked his hamstring again. He’s due a scan and unfortunately he will probably be ruled out for the regular season. I feel for him, he’s a great kid and he really wants to do well. Unfortunately, the dice just haven’t fell in his favour in recent times.

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