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McCall: Total dedication from the lads

23 February 2019

United boss Stuart McCall praised his side’s efforts as they drew 1-1 at home to Doncaster Rovers at Glanford Park on Saturday lunchtime.

Kyle Wootton notched a header midway through the second-half to score his third of the season, and secure a point for United, after Malik Wilks opened the scoring for Doncaster.

McCall told iFollow Iron: “I was really pleased and proud of the lads. First and foremost, I’ve seen Doncaster three or four times this season and they’re a really good side. I think Luton and Barnsley are the best teams we’ve played so far this season, and they’re not far behind them. They showed in periods that they can move the ball and they have top quality players. I thought, when we went a goal behind, it was about character, digging in and making it a derby, and we did that.

“We said after last week’s rather drab affair at Gillingham that we needed to show a lot more energy and we did that. We stayed in the game and got stronger. There were some really big performances. The crowd really got behind us, it was terrific and exactly what we asked for in that regard. If you let them play, they have good players, so I was really delighted with a lot of the aspects of the game today.

“You look at formations, and you always have to match them up in the middle of the park with three as they have good technicians. (Herbie) Kane will have a really good career, while I tried to sign Ali Crawford three or four times while at Motherwell and Bradford and I know what a player he is. (Ben) Whiteman is like a quarter-back at the bottom of that triangle and his passing is really good. We had to match that up and I thought bringing Hammy (Adam Hammill) in today might give us that something different. We lacked a little creativity at times in the last couple of games, one or two things didn’t come off for him but he pinpointed Kyle at the back-post in the first-half and that’s the little bit of magic you need to unlock a strong defence.

“All in all, there were some really good performances. I was delighted with the effort, application and energy, which we didn’t show as much of last week. I’m sure this week they will be through the roof because it was total dedication from the lads.

“I loved the atmosphere today too. We had to stay in it at times and came off at half-time 1-0 down, but still believed we could come back into it. We could have nicked it in the last 20 minutes, but overall it was a good, hard-earned well-deserved point from us.”

Talking about the comeback from a goal down, the boss added: “We said at half-time, we have to keep at it. I thought we kept (John) Marquis reasonably quiet and what we’ve worked on most of the week came to fruition, for example back post crosses to Kyle. 

“He had two in the first-half and should have done better with one, and then he had a looping header where the goalkeeper made a terrific save. It was third time lucky, with quick thinking from Levi (Sutton) at the free-kick. He sent it out to the right for Macca (Tony McMahon) and he’s been delivering balls fantastically like that all his career. Kyle then came in at the back post.”

McCall added: “Kyle wants to learn and wants to get better. He’s now adding goals to his game and he has to keep doing that. That’s what it’s about, learning, improving and hopefully being successful.”

See much more from Stuart McCall, Kyle Wootton and Adam Hammill on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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