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Alexander reacts to point at Bristol Rovers

24 February 2018

While disappointed to concede a late equaliser, United manager Graham Alexander said there were positives to take from the performance in the 1-1 away draw at Bristol Rovers.

Match Reports

Report: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Iron

24 February 2018

The Iron took the lead in the 61st minute when Funso Ojo cleverly played through Duane Holmes in the box, who slotted home for his side.

However, Rovers netted a 90th minute equaliser courtesy of a close range Ellis Harrison strike.

After the match, Alexander provided his assessment to iFollow Iron.

ON THE GAME…
GA: It was a bitter pill to swallow because we should be going back with three points. We defended quite comfortably I felt, with what we had to face, and I believe that physically we stood up to the challenge. We got a fantastic goal and for 91 minutes I felt it was the perfect away performance. We just got done right at the end. I haven’t had a chance to watch the goal back yet but I’ll have to see if there’s anything we can improve on. It was disappointing to concede so late on in the game because we were relatively in control. Sometimes football is a cruel mistress and it’s certainly been cruel to us today, but there was a lot of good stuff from today’s performance. We knew we should have taken three points today, but we’ll take the positive stuff from today and bring it into next week’s game (against Oldham Athletic).

ON THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE, AND CHANCES TO EXTEND THE LEAD…
GA: We knew what type of game it would be. This is a really tough venue to come to and we wanted a response, and to see an improvement on the defensive side of it to give us the best chance of winning. We certainly did that, and I felt we were very strong and stuck to the task. If there’s a criticism of the team today, it’s that I felt we should have improved on the lead when we went 1-0 up. I thought we had the chances to score a second and possibly a third. Unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage in the attacking scenarios as much as we could have.

ON THE HOLMES GOAL…
GA: It was something we worked on on Friday, and we could have done more of that kind of thing in the first-half. We had to remind the players of those moves at half-time, and in the second-half we looked much more of a goal threat. It was a great ball from Funso Ojo and a lovely finish from Duane Holmes. It would have been a fantastic goal to win any game of football.

ON LEE NOVAK AND IVAN TONEY MISSING OUT…
GA: Lee Novak is injured as well, so he and Ivan Toney didn’t travel today. Lee has an ongoing heel injury, so he just needs rest and we’ll see how that calms down. He’s having a bit of treatment at the moment, so hopefully we’ll have him and Ivan back as soon as possible. We don’t know how long that will take at this moment. That left us with one regular striker so we changed the shape a little bit. I felt it worked pretty well to be fair, and we wanted to have a backline on which was physically strong and as powerful as possible to combat what Bristol Rovers had. We defended really well until the 91st minute. We will have to look at if we can do anything better, as individuals and as a unit to stop that goal going in.

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