Brian Laws pleased with effort, but not the result as Scunthorpe United are beaten at Brentford
BOSS Brian Laws says Saturday’s defeat at Brentford set the standard for the amount of effort Scunthorpe United’s players must produce during the final 10 games of the season – even though it did not prove enough to get a result.
The Iron worked tirelessly at Griffin Park, but were punished for a piece of sloppy defending when Bees substitute Tom Adeyemi scored from inside the penalty area with 20 minutes remaining.
The defeat leaves United, who dropped a place in the League One table as a result of Colchester United’s 2-0 win at Stevenage, two points above the bottom four as the campaign enters the final straight.
And Laws believes Scunthorpe were entitled to at least a point for their willingness to battle against Brentford.
“I think the players deserved something out of the game for the effort they put in,” he said, post-match.
“The game plan was good and executed quite well. We frustrated the opposition, but it always looked like maybe one goal would settle it.
“We’ve got to accept defeat, which is disappointing, but we’ve also got to push it to one side and say we’ve got 10 cup finals to go.
“We know our objective. It doesn’t matter what happens anywhere else, with teams winning or losing - it’s got nothing to do with them at this moment in time.
“If we work as hard as we did today, the results will come - not many teams come to Brentford and get something.
"They’ve got a good record here, but I'm delighted to be able to say we matched them all over the park.”
Scunthorpe, operating with five men in midfield and Karl Hawley as a lone striker, struggled for openings in front of goal, with the home side enjoying a far superior shot count.
Laws though was left to rue a costly miss from full-back Eddie Nolan, who clipped the top of the bar after fashioning a chance midway through the first half.
Had that gone in, the Iron manager is confident his side would have gone on to at least draw the game.
“Even when you’re away from home you’ll have your moments and we had one, in particular, during the first half when we should have scored,” continued Laws.
“It was the best chance of the game – for both sides.
“Eddie Nolan had another good performance today, but he could have capped it off with a goal.
“It was probably more difficult to miss than to score, but it didn’t go in the back of the net.
“If it had have gone in, I could have seen us going on to win the game, that’s how important that first goal was going to be.”
Laws conceded that the final scoreline meant his game plan to stifle the Bees had, ultimately, not worked.
But he denied it was a negative approach, claiming the change in tactics was to ensure Scunthorpe kept the ball on the floor rather than play long.
“It makes you play and sometimes we get into a habit, when (Akpo) Sodje is up there, of going long too quickly,” said Laws, when asked if putting five in midfield had affected the Iron’s goal threat.
“I want us to play, because I think we’re better when we play.
“That’s why we changed it on Tuesday (in the 1-0 win against Stevenage), because I felt it was important we got back to playing and it forced the players to do what we expected.
“Today we needed to do the same. I didn’t want to get into a fight with Brentford, I wanted to try to play through them and I thought at times we did it really, really well.
“It was encouraging, but you can have any formation you like. It’s only about winning games and picking up points and in that aspect it didn’t work for us today.”