Grinding out a win, unbeaten streak and Conway – 3 things we learnt from Scunthorpe

@tomrover reflects on the talking points from Rovers’ 1-0 win over Scunthorpe on Tuesday evening.

Scunthorpe view

After Rovers made it four league wins in four against Scunthorpe, @tomrover looks at what we learnt from the 1-0 victory.

Rovers were able to run out 1-0 victors in a game against a very good Scunthorpe side. A team who have had an unbeaten start to the season before last night, winning 3 and drawing 3.

Whilst it wasn’t a dominating  performance like Rochdale, it can be argued it’s much more satisfying, taking the points after a very hard-fought encounter.

Antonsson was able to score his second in Rovers’ colours, making it 2 goals in 2 games for the on-loan Swede. A pin-point Elliott Bennett cross from the right hand side saw Antonsson free at the back post and the striker found the back of the net.

The victory made it worth travelling last night, and there was several talking points from the game, including:

Grinding out a result

Far too often last season, Rovers were unable to see out single goal leads often conceding very late on, the home game again Preston springs to mind – and it did when we had the ball in the corner last night – so you could forgive us for feeling nervous.

I just don’t ever expect Rovers to be able to grind out these results, so it was very pleasing to see we were able to do so here. With results against Bradford and now Scunthorpe, Rovers seem to have turned a corner in that department and it is incredibly pleasing to see.

We are going to have to continue this if we are going to gain an immediate return to the Championship. The dominant performances where we score 3 or 4 goals are brilliant, but being able to grind out results against good League One sides, like Scunthorpe are, is just as important.

After a tough start to the season, Rovers really do look like a side that are a force to be reckoned with and long may it continue.

Winning Run

Rovers made it 4 wins in a row with victory over Scunthorpe, a feat we haven’t achieved since 2007 when Mark Hughes was our manager. For any team that has aspirations of promotion or winning the league, they just have to have spells where they just win games. After our torrid start to the season, we had to make sure that was soon.  Now, it is only 4 in a row, and there’s still a lot of work to do – but it’s a start.

The wins will help breed confidence, the more we win, the more the players will believe they can’t lose.  There’s the argument that this can lead to arrogance, that the players will take their foot off the gas. I don’t see this being a problem, not with Mowbray in charge.

Rovers can’t rest on their laurels now though, with a game at home to Wimbledon, followed by a visit to Shrewsbury, and Rovers know they need to be at their best. Shrewsbury have been something of a surprise package early on this season, it’s up to Rovers to knock them off their perch.

Conway a vital cog

Despite all the positives, and there’s definitely more positives than negatives, I feel I must mention this.

We don’t seem to look as good without the Scotsman. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but we seem a much better team with him in the side. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that our upturn in fortunes coincided with his return to the side. Now, I’m not saying we played bad last night, we didn’t. I just feel when Conway is in the side, he drives the team forward and encourages us to play football.

His ability is unmatched by many in this league, and with the amount of running he gets through, he is a player we miss when unavailable. Like I said, this was by no means a bad performance. The result, along with the win at Bradford, is one of the most satisfying wins so far, so this isn’t a criticism of anyone that played – to a man they were fantastic. When Conway is in the side though, the team seems more balanced and things just seem to tick.

Bring on Saturday.

Come on you Blues!