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Interviews

McArdle: We will keep working hard

27 February 2018

United skipper Rory McArdle believes the clean sheets will come if the Iron carry on playing the way they have been.

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28 February 2018

The 30-year-old defender was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with conceding a late goal against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, but was impressed with the overall performance of the team.

McArdle heaped praise on the way the defenders put their bodies on the line and restricted the chances.

The United captain discussed the result, playing alongside Neal Bishop at right-back and their next fixture against Oldham Athletic at Glanford Park on Saturday in an interview with iFollow Iron.

ON WHETHER THE RESULT WAS A FAIR REFLECTION OF THE TEAMS’ PERFORMANCE…
RM: I don’t think so. It was a scrappy game. It was always going to be a tough one because the conditions played their part. However, it was the same for both teams. We needed to apply ourselves and I thought that everyone did that. We competed well and got the goal. After that, I thought we created some good chances. We need to talk about trying to get that second goal because we didn’t quite get it on the day.

ON WHAT THE TEAM NEEDS TO DO TO SEE GAMES OUT…
RM: I think we just have to keep going the way we are. I don’t think there is a magic formula. We have shown at the start of the season that we can do it. You’re always going to concede goals in football but we are trying to limit teams’ chances. If you look at the last few games, teams haven’t been carving us open or having five or six chances a game. It’s just little deflections and scrappy goals that are killing us at the minute. It might just be the finer details that we need to be aware of. Also, if a ball comes in we need to nullify it. When it does come in, in the first and second phase, it’s just about doing as much as possible to keep the ball out of the back of the net.

ON BEING THREE GAMES UNBEATEN…
RM: When you concede so late it feels like a loss but you could argue that one positive is that we haven’t lost the game. We feel like we should have won the game. The chances that we had and the way that we were defending was good. In terms of clean sheets, for whatever reason, at the minute it’s just not happening. The goal on Saturday summed it up as it was a little bit scrappy. The ball was loose in the box and he (Ellis Harrison) stuck it in. Everyone had put in so much effort to try and keep the ball out of the net. You see the boys heading the ball out and putting their bodies on the line. Hopefully the clean sheets will come and we will start putting a run together.

ON THE GOAL AND THE WAY THE TEAM IS ATTACKING…
RM: Funso (Ojo) and Duane (Holmes) linked up for the goal on Saturday. Going forward, the quality is there. Duane has shown multiple times this season that he is capable of sticking the ball into the back of the net. From a defensive point of view, we know that going forward, the quality is there. If we keep a clean sheet we have generally shown throughout the season that we can score goals. That’s what is frustrating, especially from the defensive point of view. We are judged on clean sheets and at the minute we aren’t doing what we should be. Therefore, we have all got to make sure that we stick together and make sure that Duane, Funso and Hopps (Tom Hopper) who was up top on Saturday stay full of confidence. We don’t want them to start feeling a bit down. We need to make sure that we all stick together and keep pushing on.

ON NEAL BISHOP’S PERFORMANCE AT RIGHT-BACK…
RM: I thought Bish was fine. It was strange for him to be playing there. However, he’s not daft. He’s played a lot of games, is experienced in the game and I thought that he handled it well. He did everything that was expected of him. In the first-half, I think that he had two or three men at the back post, they hit a lot of diagonals and I think that he coped really well. He talks well and I try and help him out as much as possible as well. It’s that type of game sometimes where you have to play lads out of position. You’re in the team. Sometimes you’re not going to play where you want to play week in week out but it’s important that you do that job for the team. Credit to Bish because he did that.

ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR OLDHAM THIS WEEKEND…
RM: We are just going to keep working hard on the training ground, build up to the game as we usually do and just keep putting in everything we can to get on a winning run.

See much more from Rory McArdle on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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