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Onariase looks to build on clean sheet last time out

23 December 2021

Iron defender Manny Onariase is looking forward to getting back to competitive action for the first time in 15 days when the side travel to Oldham Athletic on Boxing Day.

United last took to the field on December 11th when they held Hartlepool United to a goalless draw at Victoria Park - the home side’s first home game without scoring all season.

“I feel like we’ve been progressing well over the last few weeks, so it would be good to see us move up the table,” he said, talking to iFollow Iron.

“We’ve got a few draws now, but we’ve stayed in the same place. If we get a win, we can climb above them and then hopefully build on that.”

Contrastingly from Scunthorpe’s last game, Oldham last took on current league leaders Forest Green in a 10-goal thriller, coming from 5-2 down to draw 5-5 on home soil.

Speaking about the challenge ahead, Onariase continued: “It’s an important game and we need to get the points. We want to climb above them in the league, so it is an important game.

“It was good to get a clean sheet (last time out). Defensively, we’ve been tight as a unit, and we’ve only conceded one or two goals in the last few games. We hadn’t had a clean sheet in a while, and hopefully we can get a few more.

“We’ve started defending from the front. The defensive line starts from our attackers. We’ve tightened up a lot of things.”

Giving an insight to the fortnight without a fixture, Onariase stated there’s been no let-up in the intensity in training, with the missing matchday last weekend also giving an opportunity for the side to put themselves in match scenarios on the training pitch.

“We’ve been training hard and doing a lot of 11-v-11 work,” he stated.

“On that Saturday, when the Bristol Rovers game was called off, we did an in-house 11-v-11 anyway of 90 minutes. We’ve got a good amount of fitness in and training has been good. When you have these periods, you get chance to do some intensive training and work on things, so we can take positives from that as well.

“Christmas is always a busy period, so we need to make sure we get through it and get through it strong.”

The 25-year-old also expanded on his thoughts on training under first team manager Keith Hill and alluded to his own growing fitness.

“It’s been good (under the new gaffer), he added.

“My fitness has improved. One of the things the gaffer said to me was that I was covering a lot of distance, but it wasn’t high intensity running. He wanted me to do more, so I have been doing that. When you do high intensity running, you get fitter, and that’s what has happened.

“If you check the stats in training and in games, they’ve shot up. When you’re fitter, you’re less likely to break down.

“Touch wood, things keep going well for me. Last season was stop, start, breakdown for me, but this season has been good so far. Hopefully, I can keep that momentum going and stay on the pitch for as long as possible.”

See much more from Manny Onariase and Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.

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