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Dean talks following three important points against Altrincham

7 March 2023

Scunthorpe United boss Jimmy Dean has reflected on a positive evening at Glanford Park, following our 2-0 win over Altrincham in the Vanarama National League.

Second-half goals from both Richie Bennett and Will Smith ensured a vital three points for the Iron, as well as keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Heading into a vital period for his side, Dean reflected on the win by speaking to Iron Player, saying: "I just said in there, the first game we conceded three and then we had two goals conceded and got it down to one to for the next two, then zero tonight. 

"Bar one block, I don't think Chappy [Aaron Chapman] has had a save to make. We looked solid and I thought first half we were too passive out of possession. [We were] too deep, and we weren’t getting the ball high enough up the pitch. 

"We chatted about how to change it half time, be more on the front foot and once we sorted that out and started to dictate the ball, we started getting out and got more players higher up the pitch. 

"The other one was crosses, we don’t cross the ball enough in any game. For some reason we get to the point, stop, and then come back out. [We need to learn] to get the ball in the box. 

"I know one was a corner but it is still a cross into the box. The first was as well and we got lucky with the ‘keeper dropping it but that is what we have to do. They edged the first half but I thought we were far better in the second."

Bidding to create a positive atmosphere heading into a crucial part of United’s season, Dean reflected on what he feels must now be a stepping stone for everyone involved.

"The tide turned today and that’s two wins in seven," he added. "There needs to be a little bit of perspective and I know the games are coming thick and fast, but this gives us a good base to build from again with games against teams that are a little more beatable.

"That’s not to say we cant beat anyone in this league - we can. All the games have been tight and we've been in alot of games. Its progression tonight."

Making three changes from the side that lost 1-0 against Eastleigh at the weekend, the 40-year-old added: "It’s just keeping it fresh. I felt a little of negativity Saturday which never helps, I thought we needed some experienced players to come in and help that.

"These are experienced and they both gave us an hour. I knew we needed to freshen it up and go two up front if we were drawing, however we tried to see the game out. I thought the game management tonight was superb.

"In the second half we were rarely in trouble but once we got in front, we never looked like we would have anything serious against us. It was a real positive night.’’

Revealing how the team is using this weekend’s rare weekend off from playing as a chance to get to know each other a little better, Dean revealed: "We are going bowling with a bit of team bonding.

"We have had a lot of players come in and we haven’t had chance yet. I think it is important now, and we’ll training in the morning don't get me wrong, we’ll go and do a bit of bowling, a few laughs, and we'll be ready for Tuesday.

"I haven’t had the chance to do it and I would have done when I first come in if I had the chance, it was a big turnaround of players so initially there was no point in doing it.

"Nw the squad has settled down and will settle down. If anyone comes in now they have to really really improve us. 

"We need to focus on what we have now and try and get a few more wins on the board to try and give us a little bit more hope heading into the last month."

With just ten games left until the end of the campaign, Dean explained how the belief within his side must now carry them through.

"That's what is going to keep us up now the belief and the belief that we can go and win games," he added.

"We need to know we can win games and go and hurt teams, keep clean sheets and there are a lot of positives tonight. That was a must win tonight and I did call it. I would not have hid from it if we lost, it was a must win for a lot of reasons. But we won, so let's try and use that now."

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