Scunthorpe United players are surprised by poor start says Christian Ribeiro
Christian Ribeiro says the Scunthorpe United dressing room is as surprised as anyone by the club's winless start to the League One season.
Five matches without a victory – four of them defeats – is the Iron's poorest opening to a campaign in almost 50 years, yet the determined defender is adamant opponents should not take them lightly.
On Saturday, Scunthorpe face Shrewsbury Town for the first time since they memorably clinched promotion from League Two at Gay Meadow on the final day of the season seven years ago.
Ribeiro accepts results must come quickly if United are to allay fans' early fears that the club are heading back to the basement division.
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"There's a lot of good players here," the Welsh international told the Telegraph.
"Sometimes things just don't go your way and we've made some mistakes which have been punished.
"It's only five games in. You see teams throughout the season losing three or four games on the trot, it's just that because we've done it at the start it looks more disappointing.
"Get that first win and we can build the confidence from there.
"The points tally says we're struggling, but anyone who's seen all our games knows there have been a lot of positives.
"All the negatives are the same, simple things - we've conceded a lot of soft goals, bad goals at bad times - as soon as we eradicate those we'll be a good side.
"We look at every game as a winnable one, but know we have to be at our best to beat anyone.
"We go to Shrewsbury knowing they have lost their last game, having only just come up, but while we fancy ourselves against them, I'm sure they fancy themselves against us.
"Every game we go into we are looking for three points. We don't fear anyone in this league."
Ribeiro will be fit to start the Iron's first-ever game at the Greenhous Meadow, despite having troubled by tight hamstrings during last weekend's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.
The right-back, brought in by boss Alan Knill during the summer on the back of a successful loan stint at Glanford Park last season, has played every minute of Scunthorpe's eight matches in all competitions this term.
That's already almost half as many starts as the 22-year-old managed last term with United and on loan at Carlisle United – which had been the most football of his career.
"I have been struggling a little bit (with his hamstrings, which were heavily strapped against the Blades) but I've played every minute of every game, including pre-season," Ribeiro continued.
"Most footballers generally feel that after the first month of the season they start to reach full fitness.
"For me personally, this is my first season being a first-choice player and playing from the start.
"I'm thoroughly enjoying it, but it is tough on the body and for the last few games I've been playing with a few little niggles. It's not that often players play at 100 per cent fit.
"But I've been working hard off the field to be as prepared as possible and I feel I'm getting over the bad patch.
"I'm very ambitious and I want to play as many games as possible
"I think the most games I've played in a season is 17, so I've already played half that and we're only a month into the season.
"I'm really excited to be here and I want to help the team.
"I'm learning every game and from the mistakes I make, so hopefully in the next match I make less."