Patience is a virtue says Brian Laws as Scunthorpe United earn three points against Stevenage
MANAGER Brian Laws purred about his side’s patience after seeing Scunthorpe United ease to what their manager labelled as ‘the most one-sided 1-0 win you’ve seen for quite a while’.
The Iron managed just one goal, courtesy of Mark Duffy midway through the second half, but completely dominated against mid-table Stevenage.
It was Scunthorpe’s fourth win in five games at Glanford Park, an incredible improvement in front of their own fans given they managed just one victory at home during the first six months of the season.
And the manner of the result was the most pleasing aspect for Laws, particularly as it came just days after they were punished for a shameful showing with defeat against Hartlepool United.
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“I thought that was the most patient football we’ve played,” Laws told the Telegraph.
“Stevenage put everybody behind the ball, so I said to the players not to rush forward.
“We showed a lot more patience with the ball and passed it extremely well.
“The result against Hartlepool (on Saturday) made it a disappointing weekend, so to turn that on its head in three days and put in the performance we did is pleasing.
“Stevenage didn’t have a shot on goal and that’s great credit to the team, not just the defence.
“We kept playing at a really high tempo that they couldn’t live with. We moved the ball really well and won the midfield battle.
“I thought we controlled the majority of the game, even though during the first half we didn’t quite open them up as much as I would have liked too.
“I thought the game plan was good, the execution just wasn’t great.
“But in the second half it was much better – we upped it again by another 10 per cent.
“In the end it was probably the most one-sided 1-0 you’ve seen for quite a while.”
Laws believed the Iron got their tactics spot on against a well-organised Stevenage side that have now taken just six points out of the last 36.
He accepted why his ploy to name only one striker and give Duffy a free role in support of Karl Hawley, whose brilliant lofted pass set-up Scunthorpe’s goal, came into question before kick-off.
But he insisted it ensured United kept their passing short and didn’t play into Boro’s hands.
“I got questioned about it before we’d kicked off,” admitted Laws, who included four forwards – Mike Grella, Connor Jennings, James Alabi and Jamie Wootton – among his seven substitutes.
“A supporter asked me why we had four strikers on the bench when we only had one on the field.
“But you’ve got to have tactics and just because we’ve got four strikers on the bench doesn’t mean we’re not thinking about winning the game.
“We had a plan of action, to make sure we were in the game, but could also hurt them.
“I thought because Stevenage were such a big side, I didn’t want to fall into the trap of looking long.
“Part of the reason of putting Duffy in there was to make us play.
“It kept our game short and it helped our confidence grow during the game. Once we got that, we tried to spread it and put another striker on.”