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Daws reflects on play-off exit

16 May 2018

Although the season finished with play-off heartache, interim manager Nick Daws felt pride for his players.

Scunthorpe were beaten 2-0 in the second leg of their semi-final at Rotherham United on Wednesday night, losing 4-2 on aggregate.

After the game, Daws spoke to iFollow Iron about the contest, his position and praised the United supporters.

I am disappointed, but not in the attitude and commitment from the players because that was outstanding. We were brave and created chances in the second-half, but not enough in the first-half for all our good play. The respect was given to us at the start of the game because Rotherham set-up as they did in the first-leg. We conceded a poor goal just before half-time with seconds to spare, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth for us. We thought we would get in at half-time and were disappointed not to have been in front. The second-half was a bit messy to start with, but we found our way back into the game. We know we created a number of good opportunities. With our final pass, final cross and final shot we were unfortunately not quite ruthless enough. We were brave and tried to find a way. I thought Rotherham defended really well, they’re solid, organised and they are strong. We kept trying to pass the ball, we kept trying to find a way but it wasn’t our night tonight. 

I thought their goalkeeper pulled off some really good saves, as did Rory (Watson). Rory was excellent and he cannot be blamed for anything tonight. He stood up to the task and he was outstanding. I thought they all were. Marnick (Vermijl) came in after not having many minutes too.

I think it was down to them taking their chances. They didn’t create the sort of chances we created, and that is the disappointing thing. We opened up and the boys did everything we asked of them. We have to take it on the chin and come back stronger. Hopefully we can improve over the summer, get some rest and relaxation and enjoy some family time. They have been outstanding for the full season so they deserve that break.

It is low obviously. There is not a lot you can say, but I did say that I am proud of them, their ability, their character, their resilience and the fact that they never gave up. I thought over the two legs, we showed what a good side we were. To a certain extent, we let ourselves down last year, but in these two games we were brave start to finish and tried to win both games. That is all we can do and we can look back with pride, but with disappointment.

Matt Gilks has got a really terrible knee injury that is going to take a long time. That was the reason he couldn’t be here tonight. It is not good. He is going to have to go under the surgeon’s knife. He is going to have a period of rehabilitation, but I don’t want to put a timescale on it. 

Jordan Clarke was training yesterday. He first got a little bit of an ankle issue and then unfortunately he has done his hamstring again. He has got a period of recovery over the summer. Hopefully we will get him back in for pre-season. 

ND: I have had a couple of chats with the chairman and he knows exactly what I feel about the situation. I will sit down with him once the dust settles. I sincerely hope that we can find a way forward with myself and Andy (Dawson) because I think we have shown over a couple of spells what we are capable of. I am passionate about this football club and I have been here for three-and-a-half years. I want the best for it and I think I am capable of producing for the chairman and the club. 

I just said to the players that I am proud of them and the character shown for longer periods than the last eight weeks, but certainly in the last eight weeks because it is me that they have had to do it for. I couldn’t have been prouder – they have been exceptional. So have Andy and the staff in what was a difficult situation. 

They were superb. They were noisy and cheered us through, but they had something to cheer about. Apart from odd little spells in the game, I thought we stayed in the game and gave them something. The fans were brilliant and I have had some really nice comments and words in recent weeks. I feel sorry and sad for them as well.

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