Scunthorpe boss calls for big improvement against Norwich City

Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill has delivered some home truths to his under-performing players ahead of tonight's League Cup second round tie at Carrow Road.

The Iron's superb win in the previous round at Championship outfit Derby has been in stark contrast to a miserable start to life in League One this season.

Knill's men travel south without a win in three league outings and crashed 4-0 at Glanford Park to Yeovil at the weekend.

'It's just not acceptable, is it? Not at all, from start to finish,' he said. 'I take responsibility. I put the players on the pitch, so it comes to me. We've got to work a lot harder than that. It's my job to make them aware of it, and trust me, we do. Now after this one we have to make them even more aware of it until one day the penny drops.

'When it does, we know we've got some good players. But until that day, we're about average at the moment without the ball. With the ball we're alright, it's just without it – we're not very good and we don't look like we're going to stop the opposition from scoring.'

Knill has warned his squad they have to get back to basics or risk a long arduous campaign.

'We're not there at the moment. We look like we can concede,' he said. 'People will point to the defence, but it's not just the centre-halves or the right-back or the goalkeeper, it's the whole team. We're missing some players, but I'm not making any excuses for that. Just as a group, we have to be better. If we're not, you lose 4-0 at home. We have to be better at doing the horrible things. It's alright passing it and moving it around the pitch, but you have to stop the opposition as well. At the moment we're not stopping the opposition from playing.

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'We're alright in possession and we look okay, but there's a dirty side to playing football and we have to be more aggressive and more disciplined in our roles. We aren't doing that.'