Calling all Scunthorpe United’s fans – now is the time to get behind your team
Any professional football club relies on its fan base to thrive. It’s the same for top EPL clubs like Liverpool or clubs fighting to preserve their league status like Scunthorpe United FC.
Russ Wilcox faces an uphill battle to ensure that Scunthorpe stays well away from the relegation zone at the end of the season. Having just lost to Swindon Town, the Iron now sit in 18th place in the League Two table, five places above the dreaded last two spots. Their points tally is 40 which is a healthy ten points ahead of 23rd placed Macclesfield.
The danger is that the teams immediately below them, Leyton Orient and Carlisle, are both only one point behind Scunthorpe and they both have a game in hand.
It’s always difficult for managers who return to clubs they managed on previous occasions. In the top flight of English football, four managers made reasonable successes of their second stints (more in the case of Jupp Heynckes and Bayern Munich). However, their return visits were relatively short-lived affairs, apart from Zinedine Zidane, of course, who is still beavering away at Real Madrid in the first year of his comeback.
Meanwhile, at the business end of the league system, Russ Wilcox has been back in charge at Glanford Park for six games; two they won, one they drew and three they lost. Not an auspicious start, although in their last two games, the 2-2 draw with Port Vale and the 2-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Swindon Town, the team played well.
The lack of attendance isn’t helping though. Of course, it is entirely understandable, especially when you take into consideration that the promises of Championship football since the club’s nose-dive in 2016, are long forgotten.
Then, you have the sudden disappearance of Paul Hurst which came as a complete shock and the controversy of what is happening to the home stadium still remains uncertain. All in all, it doesn’t promote confidence among supporters.
The Iron have gained recognition as being a club that has lost four permanent managers in as many years. The latest incident with Paul Hurst adds fuel to that particular fire. But maybe Russ Wilcox’s appointment as manager can bring that to an end?
What any team in Scunthorpe’s predicament needs is young blood. Without the luxury of being able to spend significant sums of cash on importing new signings, academy successes can provide a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s why Russ Wilcox was asked to re-join the management structure of the Iron, as manager of the Under-23s; and it might yet prove to be the answer.
There can be little doubt that Scunthorpe United had lost their mojo. Paul Hurst might have brought it back, but that is now history. Russ Wilcox, however, could be the man. Okay, the immediate results under his management are not clearly indicative. But, the way he is bringing the youngsters through might prove significant.
After Wilcox’s appointment, the club issued a statement saying that they believed the move would provide continuity for the players and help with integrating players in the Under-23s into the first-team squad. They also issued an overriding statement to the effect that the decision on a full-time manager would be reviewed in time for next season.
The Iron now need their supporters to get behind them more than ever. The upcoming derby match against Grimsby Town is the perfect catalyst. Yes, the Iron could be set for their lowest finish in the league for 16 years, but this is precisely the time when the supporters need to get behind their club.
Away ticket sales have already all been taken up, so we know that just over 2,000 Grimsby supporters will be there. The Iron’s average home gates are around the 3,000 mark, so if the home side is to gain any significant advantage from home support, the fans need to rally behind their team now.