Video: Brian Laws feared legacy at Scunthorpe United was falling apart
Brian Laws felt compelled to return to Glanford Park today because he fears the legacy he had begun to establish during his previous stint in charge is on the verge of being destroyed.
The newly-appointed Scunthorpe United boss - who was unveiled to the media this afternoon, 24 hours after being named as the successor to the sacked Alan Knill - is desperate to bring back the good times to a club that has won just 24 times in 107 league matches over the past two-and-a-third seasons.
Laws and assistant Russ Wilcox, who is also back involved with the Iron, oversaw the club's promotion from League Two in 2005 and left Scunthorpe in third place in League One when they departed for Sheffield Wednesday 18 months later.
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With attendances at Glanford Park their lowest in almost 10 years, Laws expects every member of the Iron squad to knuckle down to try to help lift the club with which he has always maintained a strong affinity out of the doldrums.
"I'm very proud of the fact that Steve Wharton, myself, Nigel Adkins, Russ Wilcox and Andy Crosby have put in so much work that we've created a legacy we can be very proud of," he said today.
"The last thing we want to do is for that to fall apart, because that is how this club is run.
"I believe that was in serious danger of happening.
"We've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it.
"I got a text from Nigel last night and it said the same thing. What we had needs to be put back into place because it was a formula that worked.
"There's no magic ingredient, it was just down to honesty and hard work. Everybody can play a part in that.
"There is no question everybody has been down. The threat of administration or losing jobs affects everybody.
"As long as the players show an honesty and can look themselves in the eye and say they've given their all, win lose or draw, they should be satisfied.
"That's what I'm going to be aiming at, keeping the club in this league."
Laws met the Scunthorpe squad for the first time today.
He said they had been 'brilliant' and 'first-class' during training and agreed with the direction he feels the team must take if they are to climb away from trouble at the foot of League One.
"They've listened to what we've had to say and I've told them the philosophy on how we're going to approach it. They agreed that is what needs to be done," he explained.
Although he admits his knowledge of the first-team squad is limited, Laws believes there is enough talent to bring an upturn in results.
Any changes he wishes to make to playing personnel will involve, he says, 'wheeling and dealing'.
But though United are at the top end of their budget, he says the resources at his disposal are not as low as had been previously suggested by his predecessor, Knill.
"There is a squad of players here that are more than capable of getting us out of the mire," he added.
"The thing they need now is a little bit of direction.
"They've got used to losing, which is not a good habit. It's been that way for 18 months – the club has been on a downward spiral.
"It's a tough one to turn around, but I believe the players here want to get it right and I think there's enough in there to implement it.
"But we need to make sure that if we need to make change, we make change.
"There is going to have to be some wheeling and be dealing to be done, for sure.
"It's clear to everybody that the budget is very, very tight. However, I've got to say, the budget is not as bad as people have been suggesting.
"It should be more than capable of doing well in League One and that should be made abundantly clear.
"Look at Tranmere – we're far exceeding their budget. That tells you in itself we are under-achieving."
While Laws says improving the Iron's fortunes begins on the pitch, he is keen to unite a club which has become fraught with frustration and angst, particularly during the past few weeks.
He warned: "I haven't got any magic dust that I can sprinkle over the players' heads; or a switch that's going to switch the players on.
"I spoke this morning to everybody within the football club.
"Without everybody's help, and this includes the supporters, and everybody pulling in the same direction, we'll have no chance.
"But if everybody unites and comes together, then I think there's a real chance of being successful.
"Whilst the supporters have been fed up and they want to see a team that wins, I know if they see us trying to do the right things and we get their support, it's an easier task.
"I say to them 'come on, it's now time to put aside your issues because the biggest issue at this football club is the football club itself'.
"We've got to make sure of survival for its own sake – financially as much as anything else.
"If it goes too far, it's going to be in a right mess."
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