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Scunthorpe United need to pick up points and fast

Friday 16th March 2018

If you check League One right now certain areas are starting to shape up. The playoffs are becoming slightly wider by the points gap. One side in this situation is Scunthorpe United. They are fifth but not in form, but why now, towards the business end of the season?

There are many factors to take into account, after all being in fifth place isn't a bad place to be. The only problem is that Graham Alexander's side has not won in six league games. Although just losing two of those, the Irons have only managed to pick up four points from a possible 18. Not a good sign if you are aiming to at least secure a playoff place. Their most recent result was a 3-3 draw with second-placed Wigan Athletic. So it isn't all too bad. Just a case of where will that next win come from?

There are nine games left for them and they have played one more game than the teams that surround them which probably doesn't help their situation. Last season Scunny finished third making the playoffs. However, they failed against Millwall and lost during the semi-finals. This year aims to be a repeat of playoff action but there is much to be done yet.

Left-sided midfielder Josh Morris totalled 19 league goals last campaign and currently has 10 this time around. The 26-year-old has been a key player at the club since his arrival in 2016. Joining on a free transfer was an absolute steal and his contributions have been noteworthy towards Scunthorpe's finish last year. The next few games will need more contributions as lack of results will see the club slip out of the playoff spots.

Scunthorpe does have other performers and American youngster Duane Holmes has eight goals to his name while forward Lee Novak has five. Fellow striker Tom Hopper has totalled seven while seven other players have also contributed in adding goals.

Currently four points inside the playoffs, Scunthorpe need to be wary of teams just behind them. They are also four points behind Rotherham in fourth place. This weekend is not going to be easy though. An unlikely third-placed yet incredible Shrewsbury side will be arriving at Glanford Park which should see bigger crowds than previous home games. Shrewsbury have been quite an odd side, to say the least. They dominated the league being unbeaten in their first 11 games. They are unbeaten in three right now but Scunthorpe will be prepared ahead of their arrival. The Shrews have been known to lose to lesser teams so there is that glimmer of hope in Graham Alexander's mind and what he should expect.

This next fixture has the potential for many goals even though Shrewsbury have only let in 26. Usually, Graham Alexander plays a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1 but may he may risk with five-at-the-back depending on how he feels coming up against awkward opposition. Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst will likely field a 4-4-2 or maybe 4-5-1. It will be interesting to see what formations each manager chooses because this isn't just your bog standard League One game. This next game will be risking playoffs and even in Shrewsbury's case, automatic promotion spots. The future of both these clubs could be down to this game which could depend on how they finish their season.

Scunthorpe need to pick up their next win and against Shrewsbury would be a dream come true. Irons fans will be cheering their side hoping to get back to winning ways. Could Scunthorpe change the tide and push their chances at promotion?

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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