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McCall on first league win as Iron boss

15 September 2018

Manager Stuart McCall is thrilled to have won his first game as the Iron’s boss, after his side managed to hold and win 3-2 at AFC Wimbledon.

Winger Josh Morris opened the scoring for McCall’s side with a spectacular free-kick. The Iron’s lead was then doubled by Morris in the 32nd minute, finishing to complete an impressive counter-attacking move.

The hosts looked to get back into the match shortly after the interval when ex-Iron Liam Trotter headed home, but the Iron’s third of the match quickly followed through Ike Ugbo’s first goal for the club.

Kwesi Appiah got another back for Wimbledon, but United stood strong to see the game out.

After the match, McCall told iFollow Iron: “I’m delighted. We changed the shape a little bit and went 4-4-2, which allowed Josh some freedom to get in. 

“The three goals are terrific – the first one is a really good free-kick and the second and third are from really good football. That is what we needed. We look to carry a threat and always looked dangerous. 

“It is always nice as a coach and manager when you work on things in the week and it comes off.”

The Iron held onto their one-goal lead and McCall was impressed with his squad to stay focused, showing great character.

“I’m sure Neal Ardley was saying at half-time if they get one back, they will come back into the game because we have seen what has happened to us in the last few games,” said the Iron manager.

“We were 2-0 up against Barnsley and got pegged back and were 3-1 up against Rochdale and got pegged back. 

“It does go through your mind, but that is when you need characters, to stand together and be a team. I thought we managed the game quite well.

“I gave them a really hard run on Tuesday and maybe being superstitious, I’ll put them down for the same again!

“It was an end-to-end game today, but we are delighted to come to a tough place and getting the three points.”

McCall was also very pleased with the quality of football shown to get their goals at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

He said: “We spoke to Josh today to see if he can emulate what he has done in the last couple of seasons and getting on the scoresheet again because he has got great ability. 

“Ike Ugbo has come down and shown why he is at Chelsea because he was bright and lively all game. For the second week in a row, we have got three goals. That is what we like to be about and long may that continue.

“There are still things we have got to improve on. We cannot keep allowing free headers in the middle of the goal.”

In the first-half, Iron left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was carried off on a stretcher and was given a neck brace, following a collision in the box. 

McCall provided an update on the player: “Apparently he was sparked out, but it was fantastic defending from him. Deji Oshilaja has peeled round the back and he was free, but Cam got back and got such a good header on the ball. It was such a brave header. 

“He went out and when I went to see him, he said to me ‘come on, gaffer, make sure we win the game’, so he has got his thought process back. 

“You need to put your bodies on the line and he has done that. 

“With the rules now, I think he may have to miss out for two weeks after being knocked out. He is okay and knows where he is.”

He added: “The physios and the people that looked after him were very good at what they did. He is up and walking about now.”

The Iron were backed by 204 travelling supporters at AFC Wimbledon and the manager was pleased to see that.

He said: “It was good support and I am sure like me they were edgy, but we managed the game better later on and got hold of the ball. 

“At the end of the day, it is three points and I am delighted to get the first win.”

See much more from Stuart McCall, Ike Ugbo, Josh Morris and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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