Defender Manny Onariase reflected on the draw away at Bradford which confirmed the Iron's EFL safety on Saturday.
The 24-year-old spoke to iFollow Iron following the game, speaking of his relief that the possibility of relegation wasn't being taken to the final day: “We’re feeling relieved. We had a job to do today and we were professional about it, organised, hard to beat and rigid so we got what we deserved which was the point. Unfortunately, we didn’t want to get to this position but we’re here and we dealt with it and got it done.
“The last few games we’ve conceded goals that we, at spells in the season, we haven’t, like set-piece goals. The fact that we kept a clean sheet was good - to get back to basics and defending our box because that’s our pride and joy as defenders.”
Going into the fixture, first team manager Neil Cox had reiterated that it was about what his side did on the day, not worrying about anything happening elsewhere.
Onariase alluded to that in his post-match comments following the tough end-to-end encounter, which ended goalless: “We got the job done and did what we needed to do. The gaffer reiterated a few weeks ago that we don’t depend on anyone. We had everything in our own hands.
"We’re not asking other teams for favours. We knew we needed to get a point minimum and that’s what we had to do. With Southend winning today, it would have been awful if we lost and had to go into the last game, so we're glad we won.
“There were many highs and lows. Alfie (Beestin) had a good chance that could have gone in and in the last minute the ball across the box my heart skipped a beat. When you’re working hard and you’re doing things properly, luck goes for you sometimes. We’re happy we got that bit of luck towards the end and we take that as a positive and move on from this.”
It was a fixture in which the team came together, both on and off the field, with a few of the injured teammates also journeying to the Utilita Energy Stadium to show their support. He continued: “It was good. They’re good lads; they bring positivity and experience to the changing rooms. That togetherness was good because at the end of a season people move on, we’re never going to get this group of players together ever again.
"It was just important and positive for the team. Even at half-time speaking to H (Harrison McGahey), Junior (Brown), Jordan (Clarke) advising on things that we’re doing well and what we need to do better, it gave us a little boost.”
With United now afforded the opportunity to look ahead to preparing for next season, Onariase gave his views on what needs to be done to ensure the side aren't in the same position next season.
“I think next season we’ll get a few additions to our squad; we just need to have a good pre-season and get anything organised and build as a team," he commented.
"I feel like we’ve not had consistent players, so if we have fewer players missing out through injury, we can have a consistent run where players know their jobs and can build that working relationship with teammates. It’s not anyone's fault, but you play a couple of games and you come out of the team which breaks the rhythm. It’s hard to get results.”
Already looking ahead beyond this season, which was confirmed as being over following the fixture by Neil Cox, as the central defender requires an operation, Onariase added: “I need to get my operation done and obviously because it’s off-season no push to get ready and play games.
"(I need to) just take my time and get the rehab done and focus on getting fit for pre-season and pushing on. I think that’s the reason for so many break downs because I’ve pushed my body so hard. It will be good to have this break and use it effectively for next year.”
See much more from Neil Cox and Manny Onariase on iFollow Iron.