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McCall reflects on fifth win in six games

26 January 2019

Manager Stuart McCall praised his side’s concentration levels after the Iron beat Fleetwood Town 1-0 at the Highbury Stadium, making it six games unbeaten.

With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Levi Sutton charged down the right side and put a low cross into the area, which was diverted past the Fleetwood goalkeeper by Ashley Eastham, scoring an own goal.

That was enough for the Iron to collect all three points in difficult weather conditions.

After the victory, McCall told iFollow Iron: “We knew with the conditions today and coming to play against a free-scoring team, it was very important that we defended strongly but also carried a threat. 

“There was not a lot in the game. I thought we started it really well and their goalkeeper has made a fantastic save from a wide free-kick. Jak (Alnwick) has then had to make a really good save from Jason Holt. 

“We said at half-time, it had 1-0 written all over it and let's not be the one that makes mistakes. I thought we were sloppy in the first-half, but the conditions made it difficult. 

“They started the second-half of the game better than us, we didn’t really get out of the blocks. Then we got into it and I think the pleasing thing is once we got the goal, we managed the game well again.”

McCall was impressed with his defence to hold on to the three points: “They put pressure on, but we were solid, looked organised, well drilled and got a great clean sheet, which it needed to be.

“The concentration levels were very good in the second-half today. We knew of the prowess from Paddy Madden and Ched Evans and they have got goals in the squad, so to come away and get a clean sheet was terrific.”

After his stunning equaliser against Sunderland last weekend, Adam Hammill was handed his first Iron start in replace of Sutton.

However, Sutton came on for the winger during the second period against Fleetwood and played a pivotal part in getting the win.

“Levi has done terrific with the goal,” said the Iron boss.

“He whipped it across and obviously it is an own goal, but I am delighted with the attitude and application of the players on a difficult day.

“Wes Burns, who is a left winger, has gone to right-back so we decided to play Hammill up against him and see if he could get the better of him. 

“There was a little change of shape and Levi was certainly unfortunate because it was nothing to do with his performances.”

In the first-half, left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was forced off with injury and was replaced by Harrison McGahey, who made his Iron debut.

Playing in an unfamiliar position, McCall praised the debutant: “Harrison is a centre-back and occasionally he played at right-back for Rochdale. 

“We were looking at their pace with Ashley Nadeson down the right side, so we went for a bit of pace rather than changing things around. 

“We didn’t want Harrison getting forward and putting crosses in with his left foot, we wanted him to be a good defender today. I think he was that. He was resilient, stuck to his job well and dealt with everything that came his way. I was really pleased with him.”

However, it isn’t the best news for the Manchester United loanee Borthwick-Jackson.

On the injury, McCall said: “I think it’s his knee and we don’t know how serious it is yet.

“He might have twisted it as he has gone to block the cross and he will probably go into Manchester United tomorrow to get it assessed. 

“I would like to think it is not long-term, it is not in a brace or anything, but we don’t really know the extent of it yet.”

Striker Lee Novak also picked up an injury in the second-half, but played the remainder of the match.

McCall said: “I think Lee Novak has broken his hand.

“I think you can get a cast on that and play, so I think he will be okay. 

“There were another couple of knocks, hopefully they are nothing too serious.”

United face Barnsley away next Saturday, where they will be looking to extend their impressive form. 

See much more from Stuart McCall, Kyle Wootton and Harrison McGahey on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.


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