Doncaster derby provides added inspiration for players, says Scunthorpe United boss Brian Laws
FOR Scunthorpe United boss Brian Laws, tomorrow's trip to Doncaster Rovers is far from being just another game.
The Iron manager says the extra spice a local derby brings provides an added incentive as his players look to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Bury.
It is a clash United will not be taking lightly.
"I don't think you should ever treat them (derbies) as a normal game. I think you're foolish to actually think that," said Laws.
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"They're special for many reasons – supporters' pride is at stake and the club's pride is at stake.
"You always want to beat your local rivals, it's something I like to thrive on.
"These local derbies give that little bit of spice.
"I think it's a perfect game for us because coming off the back of a defeat you want something to inspire you – and these are one of the games that inspire you, for sure.
"It's a local derby, spirits are high and everyone wants to play.
"The fact the crowd will be very vocal and we'll have great support, I think it will be a great game. I'm looking forward to it."
Tuesday's 2-1 reverse marked the end of a three-match unbeaten run for Scunthorpe under Laws, just as they had hopes of clawing their way out of the relegation zone.
The manager confessed preparation wasn't ideal for the Shakers' clash – a factor which shouldn't be a problem this weekend.
"The first thing is, you want to see the response in the right manner and that is the disappointment, because we were disappointed, you can't get away from the fact," he said.
"I think it was the manner we lost the game because it wasn't a case of Bury carving us open, we actually handed it to them.
"That's disappointing because we were cutting out those little mistakes in the last few weeks, then all of a sudden they've presented themselves again.
"Without making excuses, I can look at quite a few factors.
"Preparation wasn't fantastic because we were waiting to find out whether the club captain (Paul Reid) was going to be back (following a bid to get his red card against Notts County overturned), we also had brought a player in two hours prior to the game (Mark McChrystal) who had never met anybody, so it's not ideal preparation for anybody.
"That wasn't what cost us the game, I just think there were a few mistakes out there on the park and it affected the players in that sense.
"I think the way we had been playing as well, with such a high tempo, I think it actually took a little bit out of them and we could probably have done with a week's break.
"There were a lot of circumstances but I can't take anything away from Bury, they came here with a game plan, worked extremely hard and, to be honest, worked harder than we did in the end because they got the points."
With Reid's suspension upheld, McChrystal was thrown straight in at the deep end against Bury, having signed on loan from Tranmere Rovers.
It was a difficult introduction for the centre-back, but a few days of training and getting to know his new team-mates have helped him to settle in
"The more game time he gets, the more hours he spends with the players, getting to know them and talking to them, it will be better for him and beneficial for him," said Laws.
"The weather has been horrendous and getting on the training ground has been a tall order, so we've done a lot of our work indoors.
"Speaking to the likes of Mark, he's now getting a little bit of an understanding and actually seen what strengths the players have got.
"It's been very beneficial and without doubt, there will be a better combination come tomorrow."