Size of task at Scunthorpe United comes as no surprise to new boss Brian Laws
If Brian Laws didn't know what he had let himself in for prior to his first game in the Scunthorpe United hot seat, he certainly does now.
A second half collapse saw the Iron dumped out of the FA Cup in the first round with a 4-0 defeat at League Two leaders Gillingham.
'Deficiencies' and 'fragility' at both ends of the pitch mean the new manager has much to work on before his first league game, at Walsall on Tuesday night, but Laws insists the size of the task he faces at Glanford Park hasn't come as a shock.
"I think it's all there for me to see," he said. "There are things in there that we need to get right.
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"It hasn't surprised me, I'm just disappointed with the fact we've conceded four goals when we never looked like we were ever going to concede four goals in that first half.
"Saturday shows there's evidence of fragility within the camp, but we know that – that's why we're at the bottom end of the table, it doesn't surprise me in that sense.
"I've also said it's not going to be like a flick of a switch where we're going to be all cosy and everything happy.
"We know it's going to be a tough turnaround, but as long as we're pulling in the same direction I think we will get there."
After a 'comfortable', goal-less first half, United fell apart following the interval, with Matt Fish, Deon Burton and Danny Kedwell, from the penalty spot, all finding the net in a 17 minute spell. Adam Birchall then rounded things off in stoppage time.
Laws blamed mental fatigue for his side's second half switch-off, though reiterated the need to make the most of opportunities at the other end of the pitch before it gets to that point.
"Your best line of defence is attack, and we need to get that right," he said.
"I thought at times we were threatening but there were times when we weren't.
"Whilst we showed some real nice touches up front and movement, we weren't hitting the target as much as I'd like.
"I thought the endeavour was there, which was very, very good. Everybody was committed. But the first goal was always going to be key and it was disappointing to see that.
"It also highlights as well, there's a deficiency there at set-plays. Some of the goals we conceded on Saturday were from set-plays again.
"We've been working on keeping shape, but, again, switching off has been highlighted again, as it has been this season.
"But, I will get them back and we'll work on it again and again and again until we get it right because there's a lot to play for.
"The main thing is we didn't lose three points on Saturday, that was the key.
"It was an important game for us financially but we haven't lost three points."
Laws conducted his post-match press conference to the background of fireworks around the Priestfield Stadium, though said he wouldn't be giving his players the proverbial rocket, more a comforting arm around the shoulder.
"I have said to the players, they need support and need help," he added.
"It's not hitting them with a stick, it's about getting the best we possibly can out of the players.
"I thought some of the play was good, some of the passing and movement was excellent. It showed some real quality.
"But in the second half that disappeared through fatigue, call it mental fatigue.
"As I said, they need an arm round them but they also need to be shown again and keep going at it.
"It's going to take a massive amount of concentration and a lot of spirit. Certainly the enthusiasm of the players is there, for sure, so we've got things to work with."