Iron manager Nick Daws has provided his reaction to the release of the League One fixtures for the 2018-19 season.
The campaign begins with a trip to face newly-promoted Coventry City on Saturday, August 4th, with the League Two play-off winners managed by a familiar face in ex-United boss Mark Robins. See the fixtures in full here.
Daws, who worked alongside the Sky Blues chief at Scunthorpe, Barnsley and Rotherham, is looking forward to getting the campaign underway at the Ricoh Arena, and it will be the Iron’s first away season opener in three years.
“We’ve been at home in recent seasons and, of course, everyone wants a home game to start with,” Daws told Scunthorpe-United.co.uk. “If you get an away game, you want one you can sink your teeth into and this is certainly one of those. Coventry being promoted through the play-offs only a matter of weeks ago, being a big club in this league, and the affiliation with Mark makes it a really good game and one we’re looking forward to.”
He added: “I think we have an interesting opening set of games, facing two of the relegated teams (Sunderland and Barnsley), one of the promoted sides (Coventry), and Fleetwood, who I think will be strong in our league this year with (new head coach) Joey Barton. Those games will focus the mind and be a good benchmark early on."
United’s season concludes with the longest trip of the season to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, May 4th, but Daws was fairly satisfied with the spread of games throughout the season overall.
“You’re never going to look at a set of 46 games and think they’re perfect, but we’ll take them as they come,” he said. “I think it’s a decent mix and we have a run of seven out of nine long distance trips at the end of the season, culminating in Charlton and Plymouth. Equally though, sides have to come to us. What we have to try and do is make Glanford Park tougher to come to than it was last season and maintain our strong away form.”
The players are back for pre-season training next Wednesday, and Daws says the fixture release always sharpens minds ahead of the return.
“Today’s a day we and the supporters have been waiting for. It gives a focus for pre-season and the start of the season when we’re back next week,” he added. “It’ll be a long season with the usual ups and downs. We have six-and-a-half weeks until the first game and it will fly by. We’re aiming to build confidence and momentum, and we’ll make sure we’re ready for it.”
He concluded: “I’m pleased they’re out and everyone can have their conversations, discussing what games they can make, and hopefully we’ll set off well in August and give ourselves a nice foundation.”