Brian Laws warns against getting carried away as Scunthorpe United wallop Walsall
Brian Laws has warned that feet must stay firmly on the ground - despite the euphoria of Scunthorpe United's 4-1 demolition of Walsall last night.
The Iron were brilliant at the Banks's Stadium, delivering a display of drive and desire to enjoy their most emphatic victory of the campaign in their new manager's first League One match at the helm.
Two Niall Canavan headers, a tap-in from Mark Duffy and a cool finish from Leon Clarke did the damage for Scunthorpe – who made light of David Prutton's red card at the end of the first half, at which point the visitors only led 2-0.
Laws though, while keen to enjoy his first win since returning to Glanford Park, labelled the performance only as a 'small step' towards their aims for the rest of the campaign.
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"It was a terrific win, but we're not going to get carried away by any stretch of the imagination," he said, post-match.
"The important thing was to get the first goal because that can give you an extra bit of belief and put a spring in your step.
"The first question everybody asks when you're getting beat week after week is are you fit enough?
"It's amazing, having scored a few goals, how we looked fitter than anybody.
"It's psychological. It's definitely all in the head with the players. They are definitely fit enough – there's no question about that – and they've got the ability.
"It's just about making sure we are a nice solid unit.
"We're disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet (Will Grigg netted the hosts' consolation in injury-time off the back of a mistake by Canavan), but that's a lesson learned, that you can't rest on your laurels or switch off.
"Sloppy things cost you goals and that's been highlighted tonight. At least it didn't cost us."
Prutton will serve a three-game ban as a result of his sending off in the West Midlands – which came when he went in high on Saddlers midfielder Adam Chambers in the centre circle.
That means he will have the opportunity to play only once more for the Iron before his loan from Sheffield Wednesday comes to an end.
Laws had no complaints about Prutton's dismissal, but was delighted with the way his side dealt with being a man down for the entire second half.
"The referee I don't think had any option but to send him off. We knew straight away it was going to be a red," the United manager added.
"I've told Prutts that you've got to be careful in those situations because they can be costly.
"It's costly for him because he's not going to be available for three games.
"But at least we had something to hold on to. We didn't panic, we had to stay organised and minimise the number of opportunities we gave them to get the ball into the box.
"It was always going to be a test, but I said to the players they had to stay calm and stay in control.
"Walsall were always going to have moments on the ball but we had to keep them high up the pitch and not sit too far back and encourage pressure.
"The midfield were shuffling across and protecting the back four and did tremendously well.
"If you don't put the work in, it won't happen. I thought the lads really stepped up to the mark.
"They had something to believe in and that's the other thing, had we been a goal down and down to 10 men, you might have seen a negative side.
"The fact they had something to hold on to gave them a belief and hopefully all these little things will add up during the remainder of the season to give us some real positives."