Knill hopes lean run draws to end

Flashback: Ben Marshall celebrates
Flashback: Ben Marshall celebrates
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WEDNESDAY face a Scunthorpe side who are bent on revenge and looking for a change of luck.

Manager Alan Knill is also hoping to make signings before January is out, to boost an injury-hit squad.

The Iron were beaten 3-2 at Hillsborough in August - when Gary Madine scored twice and Ben Marshall netted his first goal for the Owls.

That was only the second game of Marshall’s stay and it left them ninth in the table before he and Madine played key roles in the team’s rise.

But the season has been something of a struggle for Scunthorpe.

They have won only one of their last 12 league and cup games - 2-1 at Hartlepool - and are sixth from bottom and a point above the relegation zone.

However, they do have a match in hand on the teams just above them and all of those below them in the rankings.

So the game is as important to them as it is to the Owls.

Knill believes that a change of luck is due, with his team having recorded 13 draws this season.

Like Wednesday, they were pegged back last Saturday by an equaliser in the last few minutes of normal time. Stevenage hit back to draw 1-1.

Striker Jordan Robertson looks set to play tonight after missing out at the weekend because of a hip injury. He is a 23-year-old Sheffielder who began his career at United but did not play a senior game for them and had several loan moves

He was on loan at Southampton when he was involved in an accident and was jailed in 2009 for causing death by dangerous driving.

He resumed his career at St Johnstone last March and signed for Scunthorpe in the summer.

The striker has made five starts and three appearances as a sub for the Iron and has yet to score for them.

Scunthorpe could also recall right-back Christian Ribeiro tonight after he sat out the Stevenage game with a deadleg.

Knill bemoans injuries and a lack of choice, saying: “The difference was that Stevenage made some changes off the bench and it affected the game. We can’t do that.

“I’ve been delighted with all the players.

“Since the turn of the year their effort and commitment has been excellent, but we need a little bit of luck.

“At the moment we’re not getting it. Whether it be on the pitch or off it, things seem to be going against us.

“But it will turn, because we are so close. 13 draws says that.”

Besides losing points when it looked as if they were going to win, the Iron have something else in common with Wednesday, with Knill saying: “We had some other opportunities, but we just didn’t take them. That’s the problem.”

He also feels his team could defend better at times: “Their goal was a poor goal.

“We lost it in the middle of the park, didn’t stop the cross and then got done at the far post.

“We’re better than we were a month ago, but fine lines are killing us.

“Until we can turn draws into wins, all we’ll be is a side that competes well and plays well.”

Defender Niall Canavan is optimistic: “We’re unbeaten in four, and that consistency of being hard to beat is something we’ve not really had.

“I definitely feel we’re moving in the right direction and hopefully it continues.

“If you turn just half of those draws into wins we’d be much higher up the table.

“I think it’s coming, and hopefully it starts against Sheffield Wednesday.

“We’ve been saying for a while that the home form’s not brilliant, but I think we’re getting there.

“Hopefully the fans saw on Saturday that we’re putting the effort in.

“We’ve just got to make sure we play for the 95 or whatever minutes it is.

“I thought we did that for the most part against Stevenage, but unfortunately they nicked one right at the end. We’ve got to go into the next game full of confidence.”