Salford City return to The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday looking to end October on a high against Scunthorpe United.
An establishing month has seen League Two’s newcomers take nine points from a possible 12, and achieve first wins away from home at Walsall and Mansfield Town.
However The Iron have also picked up this month after a below-expectations start to the season under Paul Hurst, and demonstrated the corner they have turned with a 3-1 win against early pace setters Exeter City on Tuesday night.
They are yet to win on the road though in the league, and have picked up just one point away from The Sands Venue Stadium.
Graham Alexander has talked about wanting the squad to settle down, and he will be hoping they can settle down at home too where Salford haven’t managed back-to-back wins since the latter end of last season.
While he is pleased with his side’s improvement in results, the Gaffer believes there is still more to come from them.
“Like I said three or four weeks ago we had to draw a line in the sand and start looking at the mid to long term with our performances rather than just the next result, so we haven’t changed from that mindset.
“We’re still looking at how we could have continual improvement with the players, with the team, and I think that’s the way we have to continue to focus but we know we’re in a competitive game and we want to win games as often as possible.
“I’m happy with the way the players have approached the games, I spoke about the first 20 minutes at Northampton which was a disappointment block for us but I think we learned a valuable lesson from that and put it into place on Tuesday, but we know we can do things better in all aspects of the game, regardless of the result Tuesday.
“It was a great result for us, fantastic win away from home at a tough venue against a very good team. I think their league position belies their quality, you could see that from what they did last season, so it was a great result for us as a club but there are still things that we know we need to improve on both on and off the ball.”
Saturday sees Graham come up against his former side for the first time since leaving The Iron in 2018. As a player he made over 200 appearances at the start of his career and he returned as manager in 2016, leading Scunthorpe to the League One play-offs in 2016-17.
Sentimentality and personal connections won’t have any place for him though this weekend.
“I’ve got history as a player, as a manager at Scunthorpe, it is well documented and I’m proud of my time there as both a player and a manager but that’s in the past and I never dwell on it, never look to it so for me my main focus and my excitement around the game is seeing my team play and try to continue in the form that we’ve been on in recent weeks.
“For me when it comes down to match day all those personal things are well out of the window, even before match day, you know it’s not something I ever really think about, all I’m thinking about is how we can set up our team as well as we can and how we can try and win the game.”
Salford have no fresh injury concerns from Tuesday, although the Gaffer provided an update on Kyle Letheren. There was also some good news about club captain Liam Hogan returning to training.
“A couple of lads are coming back, Liam Hogan’s training with us now consistently, he played a friendly during the week.
“With Kyle we think he will be out for a while but we were really happy with Mark Howard coming in and playing so well the other night, he gave a really assured performance, I think the way he is, the way he handled himself, gave the rest of the team a real composure.
“Chris Neal’s not back training yet so we’ll see how that pans out unfortunately, but I think that’s pretty much it really, there’s no one coming back from injury at this stage so we’ve got the squad that we’ve had to choose from in the last couple of weeks available to choose from for Saturday.”
Standing tickets will be available for The West Stand while capacity remains. They are available to purchase online or by visiting the ticket office which is open on Friday until 4pm, and on Saturday morning from 10-11:30am.
We recommend buying in advance to avoid disappointment, sales have been going well and with Scunthorpe selling out their allocation it promises to be a great afternoon! If there are any tickets left then there will be cash admission for The West Stand on the day.