Jimmy Ryan hails a 'massive step' in Scunthorpe United's season
GOALSCORER Jimmy Ryan says last weekend's 2-1 win at Colchester United can be a 'massive step' in the Iron's season.
But the former Accrington Stanley ace, who fired Scunthorpe United ahead at the Weston Homes Community Stadium with a stunning strike four minutes before half-time, is quick to point out that it must be one upon which his side build further when they host troubled Portsmouth on Saturday.
"I can't put into words what this result means, it means everything," Ryan told the Telegraph after the game against the U's.
"It was a massive game. We've gone above them now and got out the relegation zone and I think we deserved it with the performance.
"I wouldn't say we were nervous before the game, but we knew it was a big job that had to be done.
"We were aware of what we had to do and we did it. Fair play to the lads.
"The key was hard work.
"I'm not saying we don't always work hard, but today I thought we fought our way into the game.
"Colchester were on top first half, but we battled away and got a goal we deserved for hard work alone.
"It's a massive step. It shows we're going in the right direction.
"We haven't been beaten this year and we want to take that into our home game with Portsmouth."
Ryan's strike, which flew into the top corner via the fingertips of beaten U's keeper Mark Cousins, ended a barren spell in front of goal for the 24-year-old.
It was the Scouser's first goal of the season - and his first since New Year's Eve 2011, during a 2-2 draw with Chesterfield at Glanford Park.
He hopes there will be more between now and the end of the campaign, having been encouraged by boss Brian Laws to get a shot away, like on Saturday, as soon as the chance presents itself.
"The first one this season has been a long time coming, but hopefully it can as act as a kick start and I'll get some more," Ryan said.
"It's been doing my head in on the quiet, so I'm made up to have got the first.
"It was a great time to score, we put them on the back foot and then came out for the second half and got a second as well.
"Now I've got one, I want to add to it.
"My whole game is about shooting and scoring, but that hasn't really happened since I've come to Scunthorpe – the one on Saturday was only my third goal for the club.
"The manager has been encouraging me. He's always said when I've got a chance to pull the trigger to hit it – he says the same to all the lads
"I know I've got a good strike on me, but sometimes I refuse the chance to shoot so it's a lesson to myself I can score from distance."