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McCall reacts to home loss

27 October 2018

“I think today sums up what people mean when they talk about how good you need to be in both boxes,” was how manager Stuart McCall started his post-match press conference following the 4-1 home loss to Plymouth Argyle.

The visitors went ahead through first-half goals from Freddie Ladapo and Niall Canavan, only for Lee Novak to pull one back in the second-half for the Iron before Joel Grant and Antoni Sarcevic settled the contest. 

He told iFollow Iron: “We probably created more ‘good’ opportunities than we have done. I think it’s the first time since we’ve been in charge, even though we got five against Charlton and three versus Rochdale and AFC Wimbledon that we’ve come in and said ‘their goalkeeper has been really good’. He had to make three or four fantastic saves. We missed two or three gilt-edged chances. We had a really dubious goal disallowed which would have made it 2-2 too.

“They started the game better than us. I don’t know if we were a little nervy or edgy with the run we’re on, but they started better, got the opening goal and in the second part of the first-half we showed a good desire to get back into it.

“We had a couple of great chances. Stephen Humphrys decided to volley one where he should just head it, and then we lost a goal right on half-time where we didn’t pick up at a corner, the ball came in and (Niall) Canavan put it in.

“We came in at half-time and it was about showing whether we want to get back into the game. Straight from kick-off, we were right at it in the second-half, got a goal, put pressure on the goalkeeper who made a fantastic save from Novs (Lee Novak). The ball came in and Ike (Ugbo) scored. The linesman said he thought it was offside when Novs had his first header – it’s marginal if he is. Then Novs put it back in and Ike scored, so I think we’ve been hard done by there and I think at 2-2 there was only going to be one team winning it because of the way momentum was going. When you’re on a run like we are at the moment, things go against you and unfortunately that happened today.

“We pushed, kept having attempts at goal, and then out of nowhere they had their first attack in the second-half – from their point of view, it’ll be a great ball in at the back post and a goal.

“We had another few good efforts - one was headed off the line and their goalkeeper made two or three more excellent saves. They then scored right at the end.

“I think the attacking play at times was very good. I believe it was 17 attempts at goal with seven or eight on target, which shows that going forward we were decent today in terms of creating chances. Defensively, they had five attempts and scored four, so it’s certainly not good enough in that department.”

With the focus now on the home clash against Oxford United next weekend, McCall added: “It’s good we’ve not got a game on Tuesday. It gives us a chance to look at what we might do next Saturday. We can’t concern ourselves about the opposition – it’s about how we go about our job. 

"We go back to the Blackpool game and they had three attempts at our goal, but today Plymouth had five attempts and scored four.

“I don’t want to, at home against a side certainly below us in the league table, play a 5-4-1 and look to scrape out a 1-0. I don’t think the supporters will enjoy that. Having said that at times, it’s needs must and we need results because we’re on a poor run.”

McCall revealed Funso Ojo will be out for two-to-three weeks with the hamstring strain picked up at Blackpool in midweek, and also provided an update on some of the other injured players – including Stephen Humphrys, who came off with a hamstring problem at half-time.

“Lundy’s (Matthew Lund) doing a bit of running but with an ankle injury it’s different because you can run all day, but it’s when you come in for the challenge,” said the boss. “I don’t know how long Stephen will be with his hamstring because I don’t know if it’s a little pull or just a tightening. He said he slipped and felt something, so we’ll have to look at that at the start of next week.”

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