Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws keen to beat the big freeze before Portsmouth clash
MANAGER Brian Laws is desperately hoping the icy weather doesn't put the freeze on the Iron's bid to pull clear of the League One relegation zone.
Snow and temperatures as low as minus seven have gripped the region during the past week, throwing Scunthorpe United's scheduled clash with Portsmouth into serious doubt.
But having moved out of the bottom four for the first time in more than two months as a result of their 2-1 victory at Colchester United last weekend, Laws is keen to get the game on against troubled Pompey, who are currently on a 13-game winless run.
"On paper, it's got to be the most important game of the season," said the Iron boss.
"If the game gets called off because of the elements, we can't do anything about it, but it would be disappointing to lose the game because we want to build some momentum.
"We're undefeated in three games and confidence is high.
"I thought we were peaking just at the time the Carlisle game got cancelled before Christmas (because of a waterlogged pitch). That was another game that could have got us out of the bottom four.
"Now we're out of the bottom four, we want to stay out and to do that, it is vital this game goes ahead."
The Glanford Park pitch has been covered since Tuesday and with a layer of snow acting as further insulation, the Iron remain hopeful the match will be on.
They have appealed for fans to help clear that snow on Friday morning, from 9am, before the covers are then replaced.
"It's a difficult one, we're in the hands of the weather really. It seems to be changing almost by the hour," said Iron general manager David Beeby.
Beating Portsmouth, and picking up six points out of six against two of their rivals in the battle to avoid relegation, would be 'huge' according to Laws.
"We're going in the right direction – performances are justifying results," continued the United boss, whose side are unbeaten in 2013 on the back of draws against Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town.
"To jump on that with three points against Portsmouth would be an excellent return and a progression we want to maintain.
"We've had a good start to the year. One we can build on and use as a platform.
"These coming months are going to be almighty tough.
"Whatever happens won't rest on these next few weeks, but it will have a huge impact that's for sure, especially if we get it right.
"I don't want to look behind us, I want to look forward at the next club we can catch.
"We've got to say Oldham is our next hurdle. We've got to get over them.
"I think we're good enough to do it and the players are believing in themselves as well.
"There's a nice feel about the place at the moment and there's a lot of clubs that don't have that.
"We have to capitalise that. If they're down, we have to be on our uppers and take the points."