Alan Knill hopes first win of the season will answer Scunthorpe United's critics
Manager Alan Knill admitted he was 'delighted' to see Scunthorpe United get their season up and running with a 1-0 win at Shrewsbury Town.
But, more importantly, he hopes it is a starting point for the Iron to answer their early-season critics.
Knill had come under pressure following defeats in the first four games of the campaign and a failure to beat nine-man Sheffield United last week meant United had made their worst start to a season in 49 years.
Scunthorpe though looked a different team at the Greenhous Meadow, with the power and presence of Leon Clarke – who scored the game's only goal – and Karl Hawley making them much more dangerous in attack.
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The Iron boss hopes it is the start of things to come as he attempts to build a side capable of challenging in the top half of the table with little financial muscle to flex.
"There's been a lot of rubbish flying around which the players read, but we're trying to keep the group close together," said Knill at the Greenhous Meadow.
"The only way you can answer any critics is on the pitch and that's that we're trying to do. Today was a big step for the group.
"We're still only six games in.
"Don't get me wrong, it's a results business, but around the results there has been some other things that have gone on.
"I said last week that the football club now is a different club to three years ago.
"We're all coming terms to with that, but everybody else needs to come to terms with it too.
"We're a League One team and by no means a League One team with the biggest budget.
"But we're trying our best to compete, financially put the club right and live to our means.
"Some of the players today were playing at their max and that's all we can ask from them."
Having combined for the Iron's goal in the fifth minute, Clarke and Hawley, who both made their first starts since moving to Glanford Park, were also praised for their work ethic without the ball.
They were the Iron's first line of defence, harrying and pressing Shrews defensive duo Darren Jones and Ruben Hazell to help Scunthorpe add a first clean sheet to a first victory.
"It's hard work (chasing down the ball) but you have to put that hard work in first and then the quality comes out," continued Knill, whose side ended Shrewsbury's 34-match unbeaten home run.
"They certainly did that and gave their two centre-halves no time whatsoever.
"They have been a big boost for everybody. We knew we needed some quality and they've added that to us.
"In nearly all our games, we've never really been battered - where Sam (Slocombe) has had to make really good saves.
"But I'm delighted that today we've come away with a clean sheet, that's something we can build on now.
"We build on being solid as a team because we think we can score goals.
"That's our season up and running. It's taken a while, but I thought we were good from start to finish today.
"I'll take 1-0, but in the game we had many chances to score."