16 October 2021

Neil Cox knows the pressure is on after Forest Green give Scunthorpe more misery

16 October 2021

Scunthorpe manager Neil Cox admitted everyone at the club is under pressure as League Two’s bottom side lost again after fans reportedly tried preventing the players turning up for the game.

Videos shared on social media showed a tractor dragging down gates which had been padlocked outside Sands Venue Stadium before the clash with leaders Forest Green.

Rovers won 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Jamille Matt and Ebou Adams, leaving Scunthorpe three points adrift at the bottom and without a win in seven league matches.

Cox did not address the pre-match incident in his press conference on Saturday evening, but stressed that there were positive signs the club’s fortunes would improve.

“We’re all under pressure and we feel it,” Cox said.

“But if we put in performances like that and play with that sort of tempo, I’m sure we’ll get results.”

Cox was angry with the penalty decision that saw Rovers open the scoring in the 60th minute.

Matt scored his eighth goal of the campaign after he went to ground as he escaped the clutches of two home defenders.

Cox said: “I’ve always been one to massively stick by referees since I’ve been in the job. I want to be professional – but he lost control.

“The penalty was a shocking decision, and when you see it back, it’s a scandal. I think it cost us the game because at 0-0 we looked strong.

“I’ll raise the referee’s performance with the league, but they won’t say anything because they’re a union.

“The second goal was poor defending, but sums up a bit where we’re at – the two players on that side are inexperienced at defending and you can see that.

“But I was really happy with the players’ reaction to some bad decisions and we at least showed a bit of spirit.”

Adams headed in Forest Green’s second five minutes after the opener as Rovers moved four points clear at the top of the table.

Boss Rob Edwards was delighted with Forest Green’s fighting spirit.

“Scunthorpe did what we thought they would – slowed the game down and put a lot of men behind the ball – and that can be hard to break down,” he said.

“I thought they probably competed a bit better than us in the first half, but in the second half we began to find some space and ask more questions.

“While I’m not going to stand here and say that we completely dominated and deserved more goals, I thought we deserved the victory with the possession and territory we had.

“I said at half-time that it could be a penalty or a scrappy goal that settles it, and it was funny that it landed that way.

“I wouldn’t say it was comfortable, because Scunthorpe were always going to go for it, but in the main we showed a lot of fighting spirit.”

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