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Rory McArdle: Keep the goals out, then we have the quality to cause problems

1 March 2019

Captain Rory McArdle knows the Iron need to start the Oxford game with a high tempo when they make the trip to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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United will be looking to build on their second-half performance from last weekend’s fightback against local rivals Doncaster Rovers, following Kyle Wootton’s equaliser to make it 1-1.

After a week’s preparation, McArdle is looking forward to the Oxford test.

He told iFollow Iron: “Training has been good. Everybody is full of confidence and in good spirits, which is important. 

“It will be a tough game. They have got some good players and looking back at the last time we played them, they have got goals in their team. 

“It is always tough when you go away from home, so it is important we go down there with the right frame of mind and make sure we have a positive performance.”

The 31-year-old recognised that his side picked up their performance in the second-half versus Doncaster, but now knows it is crucial that they start the Oxford game on the front foot.

“We came on in the second-half last week,” said McArdle. 

“We were a lot stronger and looked to try to win the game rather than being happy with a 1-1 draw. 

“The tempo that we played with and without the ball is something we spoke about doing, so it is important we carry that on and make sure we start on the front foot.”

McArdle also wants the supporters to carry on their fine support away at Oxford.

He said: “I’ve always said that it gives us a lift. 

“When we went 1-0 down last Saturday, they got behind us and helped us to stay in the game to keep the momentum going and to build on it. 

“Hopefully on Saturday, they can make the trip down, get behind us and we can all go back up the motorway happy.”

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McArdle has been alongside Cameron Burgess at the heart of the defence for the last ten games and he believes that continuity has helped the side with their recent form, after keeping four clean sheets and losing just twice in that time frame.

The defender said: “It is my second season with Cam, so I know how he likes to play. 

“It always helps when you are doing well and we have been keeping a few clean sheets, which has given us a massive lift.

“If we can keep the goals out, with the quality we have got going forward, we know we can cause teams problems.”

The skipper was also full of praise for January addition Harrison McGahey, who has started the last four games for the Iron in defence.

McArdle said: “Harrison has been great. It is difficult when you come to a new club, but he has settled in. 

“He’s had to play in a couple positions, he hasn’t moaned about it and he has slotted in great. 

“He has got a defensive mindset and he is getting better each game. Hopefully he can keep going.”

United’s next home game sees them face Bristol Rovers at Glanford Park on Saturday, March 9th (3pm kick-off). Click here for details of our Twin Pack offer, where you can make a big saving on tickets for the Southend United home match three days later. Buy tickets now at www.sufctickets.com.


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