Christmas period results for Scunthorpe United can define the season stresses boss Brian Laws
CHRISTMAS could be crunch time for Scunthorpe United, according to boss Brian Laws
The Iron have a chance to move out of the bottom four on Saturday when they host fellow strugglers Carlisle United.
They follow that with tough trips to top three clubs Sheffield United and Tranmere Rovers in a packed period of four games in 11 days.
With 12 points up for grabs, Laws says his side have a chance to turn their season around.
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"If things aren't going well, of course it's even tougher and it's more fatiguing, but when you're winning or you're on a decent run you can't wait for the games," he explained.
"It works both ways.
"We're looking forward to the Christmas period because it does determine your season sometimes.
"There will be no excuses, there'll be nobody working harder than the players, they'll be working extremely hard.
"We've already given them their training schedules for over the Christmas period and there are no days off because this is our work.
"They get their days off at the end of the season.
"We're working Christmas Day because it's important we prepare ourselves in the best possible frame of mind and physically as well."
Eager to get out of the relegation zone before the New Year, Laws believes the longer United find themselves in there, the harder it will be to get out.
"You're halfway through the season after Christmas and that's when the league seems to form itself," he said. "You know then, if you're in that bottom area, you're in there and it's going to take some hell of a run to get out of it.
"Whereas, if you can pull yourself away, you start looking up in the second half of the season and you start grabbing the shirt-tails of the ones above you rather than looking at the ones behind you.
"That's the positivity you can get from a good Christmas period."