Brian Laws labels Scunthorpe United as 'naive' as Iron are beaten by Bury
'Naive' Scunthorpe United have taken three steps backward as a result of last night's disappointing display and defeat to relegation rivals Bury, according to manager Brian Laws.
The Iron boss says the loss to the Shakers, who struck their winning goal less than a minute after Leon Clarke's 11th goal of the season had got Scunthorpe back on level terms, has undone all the hard work that had gone into taking seven points from the previous nine.
Laws felt the fourth League One match since his return as boss at Glanford Park was 'a game too far' for his side, who started poorly and struggled to cope with a visiting side who closed them down quickly and got in their faces.
"You've got to start well, particularly when you're talking about a team like Bury, who are in the same position as ourselves. We didn't do that," groaned the Iron boss, who handed a debut to defender Mark McChrystal just hours after the Tranmere Rovers centre-back had agreed a loan switch to Glanford Park.
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"Bury got on the front foot before we did. We were second best on a lot of occasions.
"You could actually sense there was going to be a goal scored by Bury because we'd been warned a few times.
"We said at half-time that it was important we got the next goal.
"We had to start better, turn it around on them and be on the front foot.
"I thought we did and when the equaliser came, that was the time I thought we'd grab hold of the game.
"The disappointing thing was that 20 seconds down the line, we conceded.
"Today our naivety showed and I suppose that naivety has been there or thereabouts all season from some of the goals I've seen we've conceded.
"We need to stop that, there's no doubt about that. The second goal was just a blatant case of switching off when you are at your most vulnerable.
"We didn't play well. We've got to hold our hands up and admit that and at the end of the day if you don't perform as well as we have done in the past few weeks, you're going to have a tough game on your hands.
"Credit to Bury, they came here and made life very difficult for us.
"They didn't want to let us play, they got in our faces and I don't think we dealt with it as well as we should have."
Bury did to Scunthorpe what the Iron had done in their previous three matches under Laws - closed the opposition down quickly so as to prevent them getting into their stride.
The United manager conceded his side still have much work to do as a great opportunity to move out of the bottom four for the first time since the end of September passed them by.
"Yes the players will be feeling sorry for themselves but we'll get over that, get on the training ground and we'll be all right," Laws continued.
"They obviously need to be told the rights and wrongs - and particularly where they've gone wrong - but we're also here to help them and guide them, to help them get back on the front foot again.
"Yes we've taken two huge strides forward, but we've also taken three back. That's the way it is.
"The players are honest, I can see that quite clearly.
"They are making honest mistakes and they've been fragile.
"We're asking them to press, press and press and they've not done that for 12 months. They've not been playing a pressing game.
"To change that takes a hell of a lot of energy and maybe it showed.
"I'm not going to make any excuses. The performance tonight wasn't good enough and we probably got what we deserved.
"We've done really well in a short period, but we need to readdress things and push on and look at another chunk of games where we've got to start picking up points.
"There's no better one than Doncaster on Saturday."