Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick praised the team’s performance as the Iron progressed to the second round of the FA Cup following a 2-1 win against Burton at Glanford Park.
James Perch netted his first goal for the club and Lee Novak added to the tally in the first half before the visitors pulled one back in the second. However, Scunthorpe held on to get the win, with a gritty and determined display towards the end and got their name in the hat for the second round draw on Monday.
Following the victory, Alnwick told iFollow Iron: “We played well at times, but sometimes you have to win ugly in football matches and that’s what we managed to do.
‘The gaffer told us to play off Novs (Lee Novak) and sometimes when you are on a bad run like we were, you need to play like that. We definitely deserved the win, even if we did have to grind it out at the end when they were throwing bodies forward at us.
“We dealt with that threat well and it would have been nice to get a clean sheet, however we got the win and we are through to the next round and that’s all that matters.”
The FA Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in club football and the goalkeeper was delighted that the Iron were able to progress. He went on to say: “Obviously it’s big for the club (to get through to the next round of the FA Cup), and it’s great for the players as well.
“Some of the lads could get the chance to play against a massive side possibly which they might not have done before.
“Also, it gives the club money coming in and it’s just brilliant. All the fans get excited by it too and every round that you get through, you get closer to drawing a really big side which is what every supporter wants to see.
“It’s the FA Cup and anything can happen. We’ll see who we get, but it’s down to us to get into the third round of the tournament.”
However, it’s not been all plain sailing for Scunthorpe in recent weeks following seven games without a win in all competitions before beating Burton, so the 25-year-old was happy that the Iron could get back to winning ways.
He stated: “It’s been a tough run for us of late. We went six unbeaten and then seven without a win, so it’s been difficult for sure.
“As a result, we’ve had a little bit of low confidence going into some games, but we took a lot of confidence from last weekend (against Oxford) coming back from being three goals down and drawing 3-3. I think we then managed to take that going into the match against Burton and you could see that we had some self-belief out there.
“They (Burton) are a very good side who are on a decent run themselves, so to get that win hopefully means that we can start to kick on in the league now.”
Alnwick’s contribution throughout the match helped the Iron record the victory, as the goalkeeper came up with some vital saves which earned him the Man of the Match award too.
Speaking about that, he said: “It’s always nice to make a few saves. Over the past couple of weeks, we have conceded a lot of goals via deflections, so I think we have been really unlucky.
“To be able to make a couple of really big saves against Burton shows what I can do and if I have to do that to help us win games, then that’s what I have to do, but it’s just a good feeling to be able to get that win.”
Following on from this, the Iron are back in action with two games next week. The first fixture is away against Mansfield in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday as they look to progress further in another cup competition. Then it’s the return of the league as Scunthorpe travel to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
When previewing the two games, Alnwick added: “I think it’s always nice when you get a good win like that to have another game straight away.
“We go again on Tuesday. A couple of the lads picked up injuries, so we’ll have to see what the team is, but we need to keep building confidence, so we’ll be going to Mansfield looking for the win.
“Then, it’s back to the league on Saturday and we need to start climbing up the table for both the fans and ourselves."
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