Iron’s victory gives them a survival hope

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Scunthorpe have belief once again in their battle against relegation following yesterday’s stunning 4-1 thrashing of Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers.

The Iron lifted themselves off the foot of the table with the stunning result, ending a run of five straight defeats.

“This was a massive win for us,” said manager Alan Knill, who enjoyed his first win in charge. “After last week’s 6-0 defeat at Norwich the first thing I wanted from my team was a performance. I wanted to see them more like the Scunthorpe teams I’ve always known, full of energy and making life difficult for the opposition.

“We are still in a difficult position and we’ve got a big match coming up against Reading on Tuesday where we need another big performance.”

QPR boss Neil Warnock shrugged off the loss with his side still nine points clear at the top.

“It was one of those days that sometimes happens in football,” he said. “It was a game that we could and should have won. We were much the better team for the first half. We got an early goal and if we had got a second I am sure it would have killed Scunthorpe off. We had the chances but we failed to take them.”

Warnock’s mood will have been helped by Norwich’s failure to close the gap as they lost 3-0 at Swansea, a result that leaves the Swans only one point off automatic qualification, level on points with third-placed Cardiff.

Swans boss Brendan Rodgers said: “We have got the same number of points as last season. We have to be one group going into the final six games. We can only control our own situation. It’s a great achievement but we have to push on now.”

But it is more than just a three-way battle for second place, and Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies is backing Reading to snatch it after they closed to within four points with a 4-3 win at the City Ground. Simon Church was the Royals’ match-winner with a finish in injury time after Lewis McGugan’s 88th-minute penalty looked like being enough to salvage a draw for Forest.

“You have certainly been looking at candidates to finish in the top two,” Davies said. “They might have work to do but they have momentum on their side and have the qualities that could take them all the way.”

The defeat was a blow to Forest’s hopes of finishing in the top six, leaving them four points behind Leeds in the final play-off spot. That is despite Leeds losing 3-2 to Millwall at the Den as the hosts scored two early goals through James Henry and Liam Trotter. However, Leeds boss Simon Grayson says: “There will be many twists and turns.”