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Alexander reacts to fightback at Portsmouth

13 January 2018

United manager Graham Alexander praised his side’s second-half display as they drew 1-1 at Portsmouth on Saturday.

Match Reports

Report: Portsmouth 1-1 Iron

13 January 2018

Jamal Lowe gave the hosts a first-half lead but Scunthorpe hit back in the second period when Kevin van Veen scored.

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

ON THE GAME…
GA:
We more than held our own, once we realised what we needed to do in the game. We had the best opportunity right at the start of the game but didn’t manage to take it. They then scored from their first chance and the first-half was a scrappy affair, with them changing their formation to combat ours and nullify us. We changed a couple of things at the break and the players realised how good a team they are and as individuals. We showed better composure in the second-half, we were more aggressive in our first contacts on the back four and did the basics right. That’s what got us the initial foot down in the game and to be fair, we dominated the second-half, got an equaliser and pushed all out for the winning goal. We had to be respectful and wary of the threat Portsmouth pose because they have really good attacking players in the ranks. We did really well today, but it’s just disappointing we couldn’t find that second goal. We reminded the players of the basics and added a bit of composure. We were disappointed with the goal but they showed more confidence and we scored, we got on the front foot and dominated the second-half. It is a difficult venue to play at but we’ve showed we can compete at any arena and take points.

"We were disappointed with the goal but they showed more confidence and we scored, we got on the front foot and dominated the second-half. It is a difficult venue to play at but we’ve showed we can compete at any arena and take points."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON THE LEVELLING GOAL...
GA:
I thought Hops (Tom Hopper) was superb with his run, and Kev (van Veen) to be fair. They gave Portsmouth lots of problems, and the goal was a great link-up with a fantastic pull-back from Hops and we know in those areas, when Kevin gets his shots off, he hits the target. He can finish with his right foot, left foot and head, and he deserved that goal because of his work ethic and what he contributes to the team. Not just the goal, but the all-round performance is more like what we expect from Kev, and those two really led the line well today and stretched Portsmouth.



ON MATT GILKS MISSING OUT AND RORY WATSON’S LEAGUE DEBUT…
GA:
Matt tweaked his calf in training on Thursday so we don’t know how bad it is yet but we’ll look at that on Monday. To be fair, I don’t know if Rory had a chance with the goal but everything he did after that, he did as competently as he needed to. He handled the occasion really well, playing in front of that crowd.

ON RYAN YATES MISSING OUT…
GA:
Ryan needs to have an operation on his finger, which we knew about, but it’ll only keep him out for one game. He will miss next week’s match. We wanted a situation where, when he gets started, he can build momentum. He only joined us on Thursday, and I didn’t want it to be stop-start with him. He’s having the operation on Tuesday and we have to be careful with contact for the next few days.

ON THE AWAY FOLLOWING OF ALMOST 400…
GA:
It was fantastic. Their commitment is superb and matches what the players go out there and do. It’s important we try and reward that loyalty by coming to places like this and competing. They’ve seen their team have a good go today.

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