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League 1 Spotlight: Scunthorpe United

Tom Hancock profiles last season's defeated play-off semi-finalists.

30 July 2018

Since bouncing back up from League Two at the first time of asking four years ago, Scunthorpe have fared well in League One, with a mid-table finish followed by three in the top seven, including reaching the play-offs in each of the last two seasons.

Unfortunately, that’s where the Iron have fallen short, crashing out in the semi-finals to eventual winners Millwall and Rotherham in 2017 and 2018 respectively. This is now their longest spell in the third tier since the 50s and, having not been in the Championship since 2010/11, it’s surely time to push on and use that recent disappointment as motivation to go one better this time around.

With their strong showings in recent campaigns, the Iron have given themselves a solid platform on which to build. With that in mind, a defensive record last season bettered only by the top two and play-off finalists, and League One looking more open at the top that has done for a little while, an assault on the top two – which they came so close to in 2016 – isn’t out of the question.

Last season: 5th in League One

In charge: Nick Daws
Daws joined Scunthorpe in 2014, having previously held various coaching positions at Rotherham – where he ended his playing career in 2005 – Barnsley and QPR. He first managed the Iron first team for a couple of months during the 2015/16 campaign, before being appointed once again this May. The former midfielder made over 500 career appearances, the vast majority of them for Bury.

Star player: Duane Holmes
Linked with a number of Championship clubs this summer, Holmes is held in high regard. That’s not surprising; the 23-year-old shone in his second campaign at Glanford Park, winning no fewer than five Player of the Year awards. A constant threat to defenders with his speed and skill, the American-born attacking midfielder – who can also operate on the right wing – ended the season with nine goals and five assists in all competitions.

Key ins: Strikers Olufela Olomola and Stephen Humphrys have joined from Southampton and Fulham respectively, the former on a permanent deal, the latter on loan for the season. Right-back James Horsfield has returned to England from Dutch top flight outfit NAC Breda.

Key outs: Centre-back Murray Wallace has signed for Championship Millwall, with winger Hakeeb Adelakun also making the step up to join Bristol City. Striker Tom Hopper and veteran midfielder Neal Bishop have moved to Southend and Mansfield respectively after being released.

EFL head-to-head:
Meetings: 10
Wycombe wins: 3
Scunthorpe wins: 2
Draws: 5

First meeting: 06/11/1993 (League Two): Scunthorpe 0-0 Wycombe

Last meeting: 29/03/2014 (League Two): Scunthorpe 0-0 Wycombe

Last Wycombe win: 15/02/2005 (League Two): Wycombe 2-1 Scunthorpe (Wycombe scorers: Steve Claridge, Nathan Tyson)

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