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Could Scunthorpe United's Title Hopes Be Slipping Away?

Tuesday 7th March 2017
This season has seen Scunthorpe United at the top of League One for some time. But recently, things haven't been going to plan. Their last fixture against promotion rivals Fleetwood Town ended in a 2-0 loss at Glanford Park.

The Irons have slipped down to 3rd place, now 3 points behind Fleetwood Town and 8 points behind league leaders Sheffield United. Graham Alexander's side are looking slightly more incompetent as the fixtures roll by but what has happened to them lately?

They haven't won in 8 league games, which is quite unusual to see a team that have done so well at the top of the table to now be in the current form that Scunthorpe are in. They have only produced 4 goals in those previous games and let in 10. Currently, they sit 7 points inside the playoffs which may be a wake-up call for upcoming fixtures.
With only 2 points since the start of February, Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander will have to motivate the squad to where they once were. Players need to be utilised more, such as Josh Morris, Paddy Madden and Kevin Van Veen.

I'm sure the Irons will be focusing more on defensive training lately with recent results and focusing on set plays but they really need to focus on their upcoming games if they want a promotion contending position.

The rest of the month visions five more fixtures giving a crucial opportunity for many points to be awarded. Two of them come up against lower league sides and the other three are against Rochdale in 11th place, Oxford in 10th place and Bradford City, promotion rivals who sit just 2 points behind Scunthorpe in 5th place.

In the last three games, despite picking up one point, Scunthorpe have had more possession. This stat just shows that they need to be more decisive in attacking play and produce in the final third. They just need to be clinical in front of goal but more importantly secure a concrete defence that once was at its best previously throughout the season.

Irons midfielder Matt Crooks stated after the Fleetwood defeat "Performance-wise, I thought we were very good". He also reassured fans about the rest of the season commenting "If we play like that every week until the end of the season we'll give ourselves a very good chance of promotion." (Source: www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk)

Their next game is up against Charlton Athletic sitting in 16th place but have lost their last four games on the trot. A great opportunity for Scunthorpe to get back to winning ways if they are up for it. Fans know what Scunthorpe are capable of as they've already seen plenty of times this season and to perform against Charlton is a key point in the season for the Irons.

The following fixture is against Gillingham in 17th place. They have won 2 in their last 5 matches and will be up for a fight against Scunthorpe. If Scunthorpe get a result against Charlton they could take a bit of momentum into the fixture against Gillingham which could reignite their promotion chances yet again.

If Scunthorpe fail to get a result at Charlton they could be in a bit of bother as other teams will be taking advantage of slip-ups in the playoff area and the promotion places. It's going to be interesting to see how Scunthorpe will deal with upcoming fixtures.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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