Players need to take a 'reality check' says Brian Laws as Scunthorpe United prepare for hard graft
Scunthorpe United's players need to take a 'reality check' when it comes to what is needed to get the club out of trouble.
Manager Brian Laws says the Iron are looking to play too much football, rather than rolling up their sleeves and preparing themselves for a battle.
United won Laws' first two league matches back in charge, but have now lost the last two - with Saturday's abject 4-0 hammering at rivals Doncaster Rovers one of the most alarming performances of a difficult season.
They remain only two points shy of safety in League One, with more than half the season remaining.
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But the manner of some of their defeats have been particularly galling, with Laws labelling his side as 'fragile' and accusing them of lacking passion and desire at the weekend.
"Of course it's a worry," said the Iron boss, when asked about how concerned fans should be about the club's current plight.
"These players need to take a reality check and I keep repeating that.
"The players we have here are not going to get us promoted. I can tell you that for a fact. It's not about that, it's about staying in this division.
"The supporters are clinging on to any positive we can give them. They've seen this all season, but on Saturday we really let them down.
"I think the players have shown the good bits they can do, but too many times over the season they've shown them what they're not good at.
"They certainly weren't good in the second half.
"We can't just expect to win games by going out and playing football.
"We've got to get the graft bit right, that's the basic stuff, then the football will follow.
"The graft out there in the second half on Saturday was shocking."
Scunthorpe had taken six points from their previous two away matches, at Walsall and Coventry City, prior to the game at Doncaster.
On both those occasions they were quick to close their hosts down and displayed character to deal with any setbacks - like losing David Prutton to a red card at the Banks' Stadium and going behind against the Sky Blues.
Neither quality was present in their game at the Keepmoat Stadium.
"The players have shown they can do it, but they can't seem to do it on a week to week basis," Laws added.
"The characters within the camp aren't strong enough to cope with it.
"I'm mindful of what we're saying and talking about, but we have to show some honesty and say that what we produced on Saturday wasn't good enough.
"The players were told that at half-time and at full-time, but you can't make somebody a character if they haven't got that in their make-up.
"You have to change them, but that's not possible. We're going to have to do with what we've got.
"We've just to make sure we have more positives than negatives.
"Saturday was another setback, but we can't let a setback affect what we're trying to achieve in the first place, which is to stay in this division. We've got to realise that we've got to get back on track and react as quickly as we possibly can.
"We've got a fortnight now to readdress things.
"I can at least get on the training ground with the back four.
"We've got to try to rebuild the confidence and start scrapping out some results, just to get that confidence going."