Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws was calling us cowards says 'wounded winger' Mark Duffy
WOUNDED winger Mark Duffy admits Scunthorpe United have much to prove to boss Brian Laws and their fans.
The Iron manager branded his team cowards, questioning their passion and attitude following Saturday's 4-0 thumping at Doncaster Rovers.
Duffy says he and his team-mates were left feeling "hurt" by the scathing comments, but concedes Laws had a valid point after a disappointing derby.
However, United's standout player of the season is determined to ensure that is the last time his commitment to the cause will ever be called into question.
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"I had to bite my tongue because he (Laws) was screaming and shouting – and he's got a right to because we'd just been beaten in a local derby 4-0," said Duffy.
"But when he's saying stuff like that it does hurt.
"Me, on a personal level, I had to bite my tongue. I wanted to say something back but I haven't got a leg to stand on because at the end of the day we'd just been pummelled 4-0.
"It does hurt and I think it's the same for all the lads.
"No-one likes to be called, the word he used was cowards. No-one likes to be a called a coward or passionless.
"For me, I want to prove him wrong. I want to go out there and show what I'm made of.
"He said if you do that he'll be the first to come back and give you a pat on the back.
"It's down to the players to turn that round and show we have got passion and that we do care for the club and we want to win."
Duffy accepts to do that a lot of hard work will be required between now and Scunthorpe's next game, at home to Bournemouth in just over a week's time.
Second from bottom and two points away from climbing out of the relegation zone, there is at least time to turn it round.
However, United must change the way they start games, according to the Liverpudlian.
"The gaffer's made it clear that if we're not playing well, he demands us to work hard, put a foot in and tackle, make the game scrappy," he said.
"The way he was speaking, it would be pleasing for him if we didn't play well and got a 1-0 win. I think that would show a lot, that we have got the character he craves.
"We showed in the Walsall and Coventry games we can fight and we can scrap. When we do that our passion and our quality shines through.
"I personally think you can tell after 10 or 15 minutes if we're on it or not, and that's what we need to change.
"We need to change the way we set up at the start of games and make sure that we're at it from the start.
"Anything in life is hard work. You don't get anything given to you.
"All the players have got to where they are now through hard work but you can't just get here and stop.
"If anything, you've got to work twice as hard now, especially the position we're in.
"It's a shame because the club's run well by the chairman and the fans are coming back. It's just down to the players now to produce."