Attitude must change after 'worrying' second half display, says Scunthorpe United boss Alan Knill
Boss Alan Knill has warned his Scunthorpe United players they must change their attitude if results are to improve.
After going four games unbeaten the Iron have now suffered successive defeats, with Tuesday's 3-1 reverse at home to Tranmere 'unbelievably disappointing', according to Knill.
Karl Hawley's first goal in claret and blue had put the hosts ahead in a first half in which they dominated, but a poor defensive display after the break meant United now find themselves back in the bottom four.
"You get a little bit of momentum and you get going and you move forward, then all of sudden it's a loss at home and three goals against," said Knill. "That's the main thing, three goals against.
"We can't keep conceding goals like we are doing.
"We have to sit down and see what has to change, but when you're defending it's an attitude that has to change – that I'm going to stop the opposition from scoring.
"We can't change personnel, so it has to be a change in attitude.
"But, with the greatest respect, we're saying the same things – that we work it in training and we show the players that this is what's happened and this is what you need to do better. Then we put it on the training ground and do it, everything's fine, but the training ground counts for nothing.
"On the pitch counts for everything and whether or not you want to head it before the opposition want to head it, or put your body in before they do – that's where it counts.
"Until that changes you're always going to concede goals."
Rovers turned the game around in the space of two minutes just past the hour mark, James Wallace and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro both finding the net from set-pieces, before the latter added a final flourish with two minutes remaining.
Once the visitors had equalised, Knill says the tension in the stands transferred onto the pitch as his side collapsed at the back.
"You can sense the anxiety," he said,
"Second half, at 1-0, we want to go score and make it 2-0. You want to do all the things you did in the first half, exactly the same.
"And yet we came out straight away and couldn't.
"Sometimes the opposition do well but at other times it's decisions we make, and we're not making the right decisions, then we're causing ourselves more problems and consequently that's how you concede goals.
"One goal should be enough.
"I don't think Sam (Slocombe) has had unbelievable saves to make but he's picking the ball out the net three times – and two of them from set-plays.
"Being 2-1 down at home, obviously the crowd from the first half, their attitude changes - you give yourself a mountain to climb but you have to be strong.
"I was just disappointed that in the second half we stopped passing it, we just went back to front.
"No-one has said, 'look, let's go back to front'. That's something we have to look at because we all thought the first half was a pretty good performance, as good as it's been.
"Second half was as poor as it's been, so worrying."