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McCall: We stuck at it manfully and it’s a big three points

1 January 2019


McCall: We stuck at it manfully and it’s a big three points

1 January 2019

Iron manager Stuart McCall praised the effort and endeavour of his team as they won 2-0 at Peterborough United.

Scunthorpe made it back-to-back victories through a brace from Lee Novak, and also made it two clean sheets in succession during the New Year’s Day victory.

McCall told iFollow Iron: “It was a really good strong all-round performance. They’ve struggled at home and we felt on the back of the win against Wycombe, which wasn’t through any great football but through desire and a little bit of fortune, that we may be able to get something.

“We certainly won’t get carried away. We needed to win against Wycombe and found a way to win. Today we were better and the players looked more confident.

“It’s only three points but it’s another big win because it’s back-to-back clean sheets and we looked good. They all stuck at it manfully, seeing the game out well and reasonably comfortably against a good side.

“Today we came and set up in a way where we thought we could frustrate but also carry a threat. We felt we could have gone ahead early on. George Thomas’ fantastic volley cannoned back into play off the underside of the bar, we had one cleared off the line and we did well with the shape.

“Two clean sheets now, and we’ve said all along if we can cut out the individual errors that have been killing us throughout the season then we have a chance.

“They’re free-scoring, with (Ivan) Toney one of the best centre-forwards in this league, while (Marcus) Maddison on his day can open a tin of peas with his left foot. The whole side dealt with them well.

“I brought Rory (McArdle) off at half-time at Bradford, which would have been hard for him. I’ve left Charlie (Goode) out, I’ve left Cam (Burgess) out. They’ve had a tough run but showed a strong mentality as well as physicality, dealing with everything thrown at us.

“Today we had ten players unavailable to us. We’ve had some serious injury problems, but you can’t point the finger at the players for effort, togetherness and sticking at it. It’s tough when you’re losing games but they’ve stuck together and we got our just rewards for a really strong defensive performance, and also carried a threat going forward.

“Today was about hard work – added with a bit of quality and taking chances at the right times.

“I’ll have a tough task picking a side for Saturday, because I don’t normally like playing three centre-halves at home. Coventry got another good away win today so we’ll have to look at that.”

Speaking about Novak, who made it ten goals for the season with his double, McCall added: “Novs has been terrific all season. He’s been struggling away with his hamstring. Most of our side, for ten games, has been very similar. That’s a testament to their fitness and endeavour because we haven’t got a big squad at the moment, and haven’t been able to change it like a lot of clubs.”

The boss continued: “I’m delighted for the supporters. We brought a good support down today. It’s a reward for them travelling on New Year’s Day. They maybe came more with hope than belief but I think we ran out worthy winners.”

Stephen Humphrys and James Horsfield missed out through injury and illness, with the boss saying: “Stephen tweaked his hamstring in training yesterday, and he travelled down with the lads hoping to be okay but just wasn’t right. James had a sickness bug and virus last night.”

See much more from Stuart McCall, Cameron Burgess and Funso Ojo on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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