Scunthorpe United looking to put poor start behind them, says boss Alan Knill
With their first four points of the season, manager Alan Knill hopes Scunthorpe United are starting to erase the memory of the club's worst start in over 40 years.
The Iron go into tonight's trip to Oldham Athletic 'positive' after finally getting a victory under their belts at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, as well as having a performance to build on.
"You don't forget the games you've lost, because you always remember them, but the complexion of the season changes," said Knill.
"People do forget, people just look at now.
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"If we win the next three on the trot, the first three will be forgotten.
"We're trying to say it takes time to get a team together, it takes time to get them going but hopefully we're starting now.
"We can see improvements and see the squad getting bigger and stronger.
"Look at Tottenham, they got their first win (of the season at the weekend) with that squad, but I'm quite sure Tottenham will go win a load more games.
"It doesn't always happen right away but eventually, with hard work and commitment, you'll get better through the season.
"Sometimes you get the time to prove it and sometimes you don't but as long as you're committed to doing it and trying to make the players better, and have a belief in what you do, that's all you can do."
A first clean-sheet of the campaign has also set the standard for the defence, according to Knill.
"It was massive," he said.
"In all the games we've played, probably the opposition haven't had too many chances, but they've scored.
"It was important we stopped that and stopped them having those chances and that, whenever we need to, we put our bodies on the line.
"We did that on Saturday, especially in the second half when they were trying to do everything to get the equalizer.
"When it was called for, we did that – we put bodies on the line, bodies in the way, headers and tackles. Those are the things you need.
"You need to build from that because we think we've got players who can score."
Tonight sees a reunion with former Iron defender Cliff Byrne, whose nine years at the club was brought to an end in the summer when his contract wasn't renewed.
It was, says Knill, a difficult decision to make, though one made with finance in mind.
"All the decisions were tough, but the reality of it is we've signed somebody on half the wages of Cliff Byrne," he explained.
"That's what we had to do, we had to clear X amount of pounds off the budget.
"It was unfortunate those players who were out of contract were the first ones to go because we couldn't do anything about the players in contract.
"It's just reality really, you can't do anything about that.
"He was a great servant to the football club, was fantastic for it but we couldn't do anything about that. We had to reduce the budget by whatever amount and there were casualties along the way.
"I'm pleased he's got a club and pleased he's playing in League One.
"He's really well liked here at Scunthorpe and rightly so, he should be, but for us, as managers and coaches, you can't have everything you want. You can't have a big squad, you have to reduce the budget.
"We had to bring in players on less money than the players we let go, that was the reality of the situation."