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Daws previews Dorking and reacts to two latest additions

23 September 2022

Scunthorpe United interim boss Tony Daws insists his side will attempt to ‘assert their authority’, as we prepare to host Dorking Wanderers in the National League on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Coming off the back of two consecutive draws against both Altrincham and York City in recent weeks, the Iron will be buoyed by our recent performances, with Daws insisting the onus is now on trying to go one better by achieving all three points this weekend. 

Speaking to Iron Player, he began by saying: "I think the fans were really pleased with the amount of effort that the players [against York] put in.

"The lads know that's what is expected and I expect better than that as well in terms of keeping clean sheets and defending our goal. We have to be better when we cross the halfway line in terms of final third play. Last week the final pass, final shot, final cross wasn’t quite there and if we can brush up on that and be better than that, then that's somewhere I want us to be. Last Saturday was for sure how I would like my teams to play."

Having gained promotion from the National League South last season, Dorking have made a solid start to life in the fifth tier of English football, recording an impressive 13 points from nine games played so far.

But with United bidding to record a second home win of the season come 5pm on Saturday evening, Daws insists the appreciation shown for the visitors achievements can only stretch so far.

"There is a lot of respect there for Dorking because they have had success over recent years in terms of getting promotion and they have done really well by getting into the National League," he added. 

"They get it down and they try to play. We have had a look at them and generally tend to be 3-1-4-2, and they try and pass it and play. As I keep saying to the players all the time however it's about us and about us asserting our authority on the game. We will try to generate the same sort of performance as we did against York and some more."

He added: "It’s the old cliche that it's a team game, you defend from the front so it's important for us as a team that our strikers contribute as well in closing down their back four or their back three, they’re there to stop those balls coming forward.

"The midfield have got to do their job collectively to defend and it comes to your back three, your back five and your goalkeeper in terms of the last line of defence in trying to keep the ball out of the net. It’s not a case of we will look at the back three and the goalkeeper to defend, everyone has to put a shift in and defend, whether that's closing down, competing for a header, blocking a shot, blocking a cross, we all have to muck in and do our bit and defend our goal."

Calling for the need to create a positive atmosphere inside the ground crucial, Daws was once again full of praise for the supporters inside Glanford Park, insisting more of the same is needed this weekend from all sections of the ground. 

"The fans were great last weekend, it was just like old times. We played in a manner and a fashion that they appreciated and there was lots of energy, lots of effort and commitment, plus a fair deal of effort in there as well," he added

"There were lots of crosses going into the box and we were creating chances. For the fans, that's what they want to see. They pay their hard earned money, they come and they want to see a group of players representing this football club that run about and work hard. That’s something I used to do as a player here and that’s something I also demand of the players. I feel we are getting a little bit of a way now towards that."

With a further two additions added this week, in the form of Tom Pugh and Caolan Lavery, anticipation is also building surrounding the duo’s potential debuts against Dorking. With Pugh already established with the Iron, our interim boss gave his thoughts on our newest recruits. 

"Pughy has obviously flashed up, as he got released at the end of last season and he’s been to a number of clubs trying to get fixed up. It’s not quite worked for Tom but we know what his qualities are and what he can bring to us," Daws said.

"He has been training with us for a couple of weeks and we are happy to have him on board with us.

"Caolan is an experienced striker and Lavs has been around the place, he can score goals, he has a bit of pace and he has that experience. Lavs will add that little bit of quality as well. 

"I think for Tom [Pugh] it’s maybe been a realisation as to how tough it can be out there. He’s come back in and he's keen to impress, I’ve said to him while i'm in charge this is what I expect from you, he's an athlete and he can get up and down the pitch. So he’ll add to it and he has something to prove. 

"The same can be said for Caolan as he was with Bradford last season, got released and didn't manage to get a contract there. He's not managed to get anything fixed up in the meantime and he came on trial with us effectively and done well so it’s a chance for him to impress as well."

See more from Tony Daws on Iron Player.

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