Fifth from bottom would be success for Scunthorpe United this season, admits David Mirfin
THEY have had to revaluate their aims several times already this season, and David Mirfin says Scunthorpe United may be forced to do so again.
Heading into the final two months of the campaign, the Iron still had designs on climbing up the table.
Now, with eight games to go and off the back of three successive defeats, Mirfin concedes finishing fifth from bottom would be classed as a ‘success’ for Brian Laws’ men.
The five-point gap between Scunthorpe and Colchester United, the team directly above them, is becoming ever more difficult to bridge and they are left looking over their shoulders as relegation rivals Oldham Athletic have the potential to leapfrog them out of the relegation zone with two games in hand.
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“You set a target of 50 points but as each game goes by and teams below you don’t win, that target probably becomes a little bit smaller,” said Mirfin.
“But we’ve got to make sure we get as many points as we can and as soon as we can. We don’t want to be relying on other teams or be waiting until the last game of the season.
“It’s opened up a little bit more on Saturday (after Colchester’s 2-1 win at Bury).
“Although it’s a little bit disappointing to say it, I think fifth from bottom is going to be a success this season because of the way it’s gone.
“At this stage, that’s all that matters.
“At the start of the season it wasn’t the target, we were definitely looking at the other end of the table.
“I think the gaffer touched on it, if we’d played like we had from Christmas time we would be in a much different position to what we’re in.
“But it’s the way it’s gone this season, there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ve got to make sure we remain positive until the end of the season.”
United’s single goal defeat at Notts County on Saturday summed up their season in a nutshell.
Chances squandered up front and sloppy goals conceded at the back – there have been shortcomings at either end of the pitch this term.
Karl Hawley in particular, was left to rue a few missed opportunities at Meadow Lane, but Mirfin has backed the Iron striker to bounce back in the final few games.
“If you look at it, it’s probably what’s happened in both boxes,” said the centre-back.
“I know it’s a bit of an easy thing to say, but the goals we’ve conceded and the chances we’ve not put away is how the season’s going to get summed up.
“If you’ve always got a player that’s got 20-odd goals you’re always going to be in a decent position.
“Obviously Karl’s going to be disappointed not coming off with one, two or three goals, but I said to him, at the end of the day we probably should have come off 0-0.
“The chances haven’t gone in for us and that’s probably the disappointing thing.
“I think he’s going to take it personally. He knows he had chances.
“But we should have come off 0-0 if we’d not scored at the other end.
“I think he’s old enough and experienced enough to know it can’t affect us.
“He got in the right places and created his own chances, that’s got to be a positive for him.”