13 November 2021

The early impression is good for new Scunthorpe boss Keith Hill

13 November 2021

New Scunthorpe boss Keith Hill was frustrated at having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Salford but believes he has seen enough in his first week in charge to know the Iron are a good bet for survival.

Conor McAleny’s 59th minute effort secured visitors Salford a Sky Bet League Two point, after Ryan Loft’s close-range finish had put the bottom club on course for only a second win in 11 games.

Hill – brought in to replace Neil Cox by the bottom-of-the-table Iron – felt a disallowed Iron goal seconds before Salford’s equaliser was a turning point, as was the way his side tired on the back of a hard-working first hour.

He said: “It’s a good point. I’m pleased for the players, pleased with their performance for the first 60 minutes and pleased that we never gave up when we really fatigued at the end.

“We made a good side look an average side by putting pressure on them on the ball.

“I want the players to catch up quickly with my demands. They showed in the first 60 minutes that they can do it, but we’ve got to do it for 90 minutes.

“I was disappointed with the manner that we conceded, but we were emotionally still involved in the disallowed goal.

“I think there’s a lot of potential here, but there’s a lot of potential sat in pubs and up and down the country – every time I go in one, four or five people tell me they were a better player than me.

“I’m a firm believer that the harder you work, the luckier you become and I believe we’ll turn our fortunes around.”

Loft bundled the Iron in front after a 37th minute clearance from Salford goalkeeper Connor Ripley rebounded into his path and presented him with an opportunity he could not miss.

The Ammies were distinctly second best in the first half, but had built up a head of steam before Matthew Lund’s defence-splitting pass picked out McAleny, who rolled his shot past the advancing keeper and into the bottom corner.

Salford might have gone on to win the game, with two penalty shouts waved away by referee Josh Smith – much to the frustration of manager Gary Bowyer,

He said: “We’ve not had a penalty all season and you’re not going to see two more clear-cut than those today.

“We’ve got 11 players missing through injury and had a young bench, so to create the chances we did, we’re disappointed not to be going away with three points.

“We knew what to expect in the first half. Keith is a very experienced manager and we knew he’d give Scunthorpe a lift – you could see that in terms of how hard they worked.

“They ran harder than us in the first half and we conceded another comical goal.

“But after half-time we came out and ran harder, which increased our level of performance.

“We scored a very good goal and when we stayed on the front foot I was hoping we’d go on and get a winner.”

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