It’s going to be one heck of an atmosphere on Saturday – here are two Scunthorpe fans to tell us more…
REP was talking to two members of the Iron-Bru.co.uk website
About the fans…
I am Matt, the editor of the Scunthorpe United forum and fan site Iron-Bru.co.uk. It is our 16th year covering the Iron as the site originally started all the way back in 2000 on the Footymad network.
I’m Mike, the first game I went to was on 19th October 1962 versus Portsmouth at the Old Show Ground – we lost 2-1, and I have supported the Iron ever since, going to Wembley (old and new) four times.
How are your team doing?
Since Graham Alexander came in we haven’t looked back and although he has been playing our chances down in the last week or so, must be eyeing this as a massive opportunity…
Matt: The fans expectations at the start of the season were that we had assembled a side to challenge for the play-offs. We were told by the management and the board that we had signed some really good players and on paper they looked to fit the bill as players to get us out the division. Players such as Scott Laird, Jack King and Scott Wiseman all arrived from promoted Preston, so had been there and done it just a few months before, but have largely failed to impress and it would not surprise me if a couple of those will be moving on in the summer.
Unfortunately, the early part of the season, similar to last year, turned into an absolute nightmare.Many fans would have been happy to see the back of Mark Robins following a 1-0 home defeat to Blackpool early in the season but we had to wait until the reverse fixture until he was given the boot. We had been served up some of the worst football many of us can remember previous to that and he was finally relieved of his duties following a 5-0 hammering by the Seasiders!
Following his sacking, things really started to improve under Nick Daws and Andy Dawson but there was always a nagging doubt that Daws may not be the man to take us forward long term. Some strange tactical decisions in a defeat at Fleetwood set alarm bells ringing and Graham Alexander was appointed soon after. The fans were in shock as it was a bolt from the blue, but on the whole we were fairly pleased.
Over the last few months we have started to prove that we are a really decent side in what has to be said is a fairly poor League. Following defeat at Bradford last month, most fans would admit we had given up on the play-offs, but since Graham Alexander came in we haven’t looked back and although he has been playing our chances down in the last week or so, must be eyeing this as a massive opportunity. Nick Daws may have felt hard done by when the position was taken from him, but Alexander looks like an inspired appointment. He gets the club, as a former player and the fans have really taken to him.
There is a clear change of attitude amongst the players and I think we have a great chance of finishing in the top six, despite it not being in our hands.
Mike: Our current form is exceptional since Mark Robbins’ departure as now our players are playing in their natural positions in the team. Pre-season hype and big signings (75% of the Preston back four) seemed to suggest that we would be pushing for a play-off spot at the very least. That never materialised and we found ourselves nearer the bottom than the top until our recent run.
Where you think you will finish?
Mike: We could finish sixth if Barnsley and Gillingham slip up in their last games but that only works if we win our last two. I think Barnsley and Gillingham will drop points but also think we may too – either on Saturday or at Sheffield.
Who should we watch out for?
Our other star is Hakeeb Adelakun. The young right winger is a joy to watch when he’s on his game and can tear any defence at this level apart…
Matt: Luke Williams, who was excellent on loan for us last season, signed in the summer from Middlesborough but has had a stop and start kind of season. He’s scored a handful of goals lately including a beauty last week and is likely to cause problems in a free role. Paddy Madden hasn’t found the net for a while, but he is turning provider. He’s got four or five assists in his last three games and is always a danger at this level. Our other star is Hakeeb Adelakun. The young right winger is a joy to watch when he’s on his game and can tear any defence at this level apart. Mark Robins always seemed reluctant to play him, but he seems to be one of Alexander’s favourites and is replaying the faith shown in him by the gaffer with a string of excellent displays.
Mike: In terms of danger players – with the exception of Steve Dawson and Jamie Ness (he may not be involved on Sat) all of our outfield players have scored this season. Most dangerous in terms of current form would be Luke Williams (ex Boro) and of course Paddy Madden.
What are your thoughts on your manager?
Matt: It’s too early to say, but deep down I feel he is a great fit for the job. He’s got off to a great start and the way he sets us up to play is far more exciting than any of the drivel we have had to endure for the last five or six years.
Mike: The current manager is a breath of fresh air – engaging with the fans and showing pitch side passion that we have not seen for years – the players have responded accordingly.
What are your thoughts on your board?
The chairman has deep pockets and no small ambitions for our club…
Matt: The chairman and his family have invested heavily in the club over the last few years so the one thing you cannot say is that he hasn’t put his hand in his pocket. He is open with the fans and comes on our website from time to time to answer the fans questions, which is the polar opposite of our previous chairman Steve Wharton who kept himself to himself. He is funding a new 12,000 seater stadium just across the road from Glanford Park, but as yet building work has not started. He has taken a bit of stick from the fans because of a string of missed start dates, but I think everyone wants him to succeed.
Mike: The chairman has deep pockets and no small ambitions for our club and apart from holding on to the last manager for too long has an impressive track record. He takes part in fans forums – in person and online and sticks it to Jeff Stelling when the need arises.
Any views on the current Port Vale team?
Matt: We always quite liked Michael O’Connor when he was here, but League One is probably his level.
Mike: Michael O’Connor is the one we remember. Some workmates and I sponsored his kit for two of the seasons he was with us – so my son now has his signed shirt framed on his bedroom wall. Never forget his strike from outside the box against QPR when we beat them 4-1 after they had become champions.
Did you attend the reverse fixture earlier this season?
Matt: It was a terrible game, played in terrible conditions. Whether it should have gone ahead is another matter as we have had a game called off at our spot this year when the pitch wasn’t half as bad! I didn’t think either team deserved to lose and a point was a fair result. [OVF Editor – of course it was bad conditions, the OVF website were sponsoring the game – it almost always happens]
A score prediction?
Matt: 3-1 to the Iron. Madden, Wallace and Adelakun for us, in front of 7,800.
Mike: Score prediction? My heart says 3-0. My head says 2-1. I just want to go into that last game with something to play for.