McCall: We are not yet out of the woods
SCUNTHORPE boss Stuart McCall insists his side are still far from safe from relegation, despite their fourth win on the spin at Walsall.
United climbed to 15th thanks to Lee Novak’s cool finish – his 10th league goal of the season – after a superb solo goal from Walsall’s Nicky Devlin had cancelled out Funso Ojo’s early volley for the Iron.
Scunthorpe’s recent run hauled them out of a slump of seven successive defeats and McCall credited a defensive improvement for the turnaround.
He said: “We had a sticky run. We’ve given so many goals to the opposition with individual errors and, at this moment in time, we’ve cut them out.
“We’re not giving teams opportunities and goals, we’ve solidified. We’ve had seven losses on the bounce – hopefully now we’ll have seven wins!
“Our two goals were terrific today. For all the balls that Walsall put in, I don’t think they had a shot on goal, so I think we’ve managed the game really well and defended strongly.”
Scunthorpe led after 12 minutes when midfielder Ojo stole in unmarked to volley home Tony McMahon’s floated corner-kick from around 15 yards.
The only other chance of a poor first half came seven minutes later as Iron keeper Jak Alnwick tipped Walsall top scorer Andy Cook’s 18-yard strike wide.
However, rightback Devlin brought Walsall level with a superb goal after 53 minutes, surging past two men into the area and beating another, before lashing past Alnwick into the far top corner.
Scunthorpe regained the lead after 68 minutes as George Thomas’ weighted pass freed Novak to dink a clever finish over outrushing Walsall keeper Liam Roberts.
Walsall are getting sucked into danger – they slipped to 16th and have won only once in 12 league games, prompting boss Dean Keates to promise January reinforcements.
Keates said: “I think everyone needs a lift. We will look to add a few bodies over the next week and it gives us a fresh impetus around the place.
“The players gave everything today, we can’t question that, but we need to find a win from somewhere and get some points on the board.
“If we can add experience, we will – but with experience comes quite a big price tag.”