Iron manager Stuart McCall felt a narrow 1-0 defeat at Blackpool was harsh on his side on Tuesday night.
Armand Gnanduillet scored the winner during the first-half but Scunthorpe showed plenty of spirit as they tried to get back into the game and bounce back from the manner of the loss at Wycombe last weekend.
McCall told iFollow Iron: “I felt we certainly deserved something out of the game tonight. It was a really tough one, on the back of the way we were defeated on Saturday, which was a real boot in the gonads I’ve got to say.
“All I asked for tonight was a bit of character and a response to what happened on Saturday, because it hurt everyone. When you’re 2-0 up, even to get back to 2-2 hurts, but to lose in the 95th minute like we did, we needed big character tonight because we were going to a side that’s the in-form team in the division, and have lost one game all season.
“They are one of the fittest and biggest sides in the league, and were on a high and playing well, so we had to stand up to them. After the first 10-15 minutes, we started growing into it, had some kicked off the line, saved and put balls in across the box. I asked for a response and there’s no doubt we got that tonight. That’s what we need now, we’ve set the bar in terms of desire, togetherness and teamwork because that’s what we need to be – together.
“When you’re on a sticky patch and a difficult run, that’s when you need to stand up and be counted, and I thought a lot of the lads did that tonight. They are strong from set-pieces and are a big side, but we gave them problems and if we’d got the equaliser, it would have been well deserved.
“The weekend’s been a long one, coming back from that long trip to Wycombe with the result we had and the performance. I didn’t know how it would go tonight. We went a goal down early on and it was a test of character but we got through that. Obviously now we need to start building on that. We’re never happy when we get beat, but there are ways to get beat (if you do) and we had a good go. I’ll take that effort every week.”
McCall was pleased with the way skipper Rory McArdle played in a different role, in front of fellow centre-backs Charlie Goode and Cameron Burgess.
He added: “I had faith Rory could go in there and do a job on one of their players, which he did. He was strong physically and broke things up for us. It’s not something I’d look to do again, but I wanted to deal well with an aerially strong side. They don’t give away many chances and we could have scored from set-plays tonight. Charlie had a chance cleared off the line, as did Rory.
I certainly think the effort and the play deserved a point.”
There was a blow for United as Funso Ojo came off during the second-half, with what McCall revealed was a hamstring injury.
“Funso was terrific tonight and led by example,” added the boss. “We asked the experienced players to go out and do that, and he certainly did. It’s his hamstring, he felt it early in the second half but carried on. We’re just hoping it’s nothing too serious, but we’ll look at it over the next 48 hours.”
The manager also hailed the travelling fans, with over 300 making the journey from North Lincolnshire on a Tuesday night on the back of a disappointing result at the weekend.
He said: “The supporters were terrific in the noise they made, and it’s not easy making a trip like this and supporting a side on a bad run. They gave us good vocal backing, and the players and staff really appreciate that. Now we have to really start looking towards Saturday (at home to Plymouth). I know Plymouth won tonight and they’ll have a bit more confidence after that, but we’ve got to show that desire and commitment again.”
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