I would like to firstly thank Tony and Paul for stepping in this week to take the training and prepare the side for the match today. They have approached it with professionalism and enthusiasm, so thank you.
We are also delighted to welcome Doncaster Rovers officials and fans for today's match and although we are both out of form teams, we are looking forward to a competitive game - as you would expect from any local derby and especially an FA Cup tie!
The wrong end of the league is not exactly where you want to be and it hasn’t been easy for us. To change that some decisions must be made and the departure of Neil on Monday - albeit very difficult - was a necessity if we were to change our fortunes and move forward. I must make these decisions - they are not easy, but I will stand up and try and do my best for the club always. Of course I thank Neil and Mark for their commitment, passion and friendship from the day they were appointed.
With the departure of Neil, it was crucial I found someone who could do the job at hand, had experience of League Two football, a winning mentality and could improve the group we have until January, where we could then look at our position and act accordingly to strengthen where possible.
Keith and I met earlier in the week and during that chat we felt we could work together and subsequently he agreed to take the job as manager of Scunthorpe United. It's a decision I am delighted with and I hope you all agree he is the best candidate for the job. I am looking forward to helping him in transforming our fortunes but understand that this is not an easy job, as a bottom of the league club. However a change in approach and experience may well give us a fighting chance.
I want to welcome Keith officially to the Iron and hope you will support him and the team exactly when we really need it, now and until the end of the season, as we can’t do this without us all pulling together as a club.
Today will be a difficult game against opposition that, although in poor form also, are a team in the division above. It is probably one of the most competitive League One seasons I have seen for a long time and we must work hard to get anything out of this game. This is an opportunity to play a game without the pressure of three points and to take part in what is the most exciting and historic tournaments in the world, so let’s take that chance and I ask the players to leave the league form behind us and do them and the club proud today.
Up the Iron,