United boss Chris Beech gave us his reaction to the third consecutive 2-0 victory shortly after full time on Tuesday night.
“It was a professional performance, and we could have ended up with six or seven goals,” he said. “We got two, and I’m happy that we got the clean sheet. I’m pleased for Paul [Farman] because that’s his third clean sheet on the bounce in three consecutive 2-0 wins, and long may that continue.
“We’re getting that consistency back. I don’t want to go on too much, but it’s hard to be consistent when you aren’t allowed to do those consistent behaviours with the postponements and difficulties we had.
“It takes time to get back to that point, but when the lads are more like themselves it’s far easier to manage our group of players, because they’re so honest and committed to what they’re trying to achieve.”
“The lads have had a bit of stick during the tough period we were in and well done to them for handling that,” he added. “They’ve come through and they’ve earned their wins.
“In this one, we had a very dominant spell at the start of the second half. I don’t know how Ozzy [Zanzala] didn’t score, Aaron [Hayden] did everything right with his header in terms of heading it down, but he did it so well it bounced over the goal.
“Rod McDonald had a couple of great headers, I don’t know how the goalkeeper saved the second one, it was a magnificent save. Joe Riley had a couple of shots blocked, but Jon got his goals and I’m pleased for the lads because they kept going.”
The spell leading up to the crucial goals was relentless in terms of pressure and opportunities created, with the players regaining possession to mount attack after attack.
“You could feel the goal coming, but sometimes it doesn’t, that’s football,” he commented. “I don’t think we’ve won a game where we haven’t played well, but I’m pleased we look back at our levels of performance.
“Hopefully we can keep focused and embrace the situation we’re in and enjoy what might be. Our home form is still the best in the league and what we’ve got to do is make sure we don’t get too high or too low, all we can do is carry on.
“It feels good to have won again, it’s what it’s all about. I’m very pleased for the players because they’ve put some great shifts in. Scunthorpe’s form was good coming into this so to play as well as we did is very pleasing.
“There are still things I wanted us to do better. I call this free kicks in free play, because the players were running with the ball for five yards, stopping, then passing it. Then they’d do that again, and it was a little bit too easy.
“I wanted them to move it quicker, and I told them that even if people were giving them time, not to take it, get the ball moving on. We were better at it in the second half, we moved it quickly, and we got some good chances off the back of that.”
One slight scare from the evening was a challenge on Joe Riley, which saw him leave the field of play with 10 minutes left to play.
“I’m hoping it’s a knock rather than a twist,” he explained. “It was two situations - Callum should possibly have controlled the ball first, then gone for a shot, and Joe mistimed his 50:50 as well.
“I don’t think the lad meant to do what he did, but he’s missed the ball and he’s kicked Joe’s ankle. I’m hoping it’s a knock rather than a twist because pain is easier to recover from rather than a ligament problem. He’s done ever so well so you want people like him on the pitch.
“I took him off because the scoreline was good and we’ve got good lads on the bench to come on. I wanted to take him off to make sure he’s right for Saturday, but we’ll have to wait and see.
“It’s the same with Josh Kayode. He’s running, but not fully confident in himself. He likes to give 100%, so it wouldn’t do him any good at all to involve him when he isn’t completely confident. Hopefully he might be available on Saturday.”
And on the unbeaten three-game run, he told us: “I want the supporters to enjoy the situation and I want to see how we can get on in the remaining eight games.
“We know what we need in terms of points, so let’s see how we go with it. We can’t guarantee anything other than hard work and honesty.
“That will look after us, and if we get something out of something, well done. If we don’t, we will stick to those traits and give it our best. That’s all I can ask of the lads.”
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