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Scunthorpe appoint ex-Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Grimsby, Lincoln player as interim manager

Scunthorpe United appoint ex-Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Grimsby, Lincoln player Tony Daws as interim manager following the axing of Keith Hill.

Hill leaves with the club second from bottom of the National League after they were relegated from League Two last season after 72 years in the English Football League.

They won their first game of the season but have lost their subsequent five, with Hill’s last game in charge being Monday’s 2-0 home defeat by Halifax.


In total the Iron won just three, and lost 27, of Hill’s 39 matches in charge.

Hill came in to replace Neil Cox at Glanford Park in November 2021 but could do nothing to halt their slide out of the Football League.

They ended the campaign with a humbling 7-0 defeat by Bristol Rovers, after which Hill acknowledged that the “dynamics of the club have been terrible”.

He told BBC Radio Humberside at the time: “The club need to show bravery. They can throw me under the bus if they want, like most clubs do – I got thrown under the bus [at Tranmere] last season and I got thrown under the bus at Bolton. You clean a club up and then you get thrown out.

“But it needs cleansing. It needs somebody like me to make sure there’s a successful future.”

Keith Hill said after the game at Halifax: He begun by speaking about the performance, saying: “I’m obviously disappointed and frustrated. I’m feeling the same emotions as the fans and the players, let’s not forget the players, because the players have gone through it today, far more than I have. They’re trying to turn a corner and improve their performances individually.

“We’re making mistakes, and they’re seeable in the situation that we find ourselves in. Every minor mistake is getting punished to the point where we’re conceding from a deflected free-kick. The players haven’t given up though, and under testing circumstances. They’re trying to do everything, and that’s manifested in the second goal, because the players are trying to do everything to salvage something from the game. That’s my understanding of it, as an ex-player whose been in the situation before.”

He added: “The players effort is going through the roof, but it’s being magnified as mistakes, and it’s such a shame for the players because they want to do well for the supporters, and they understand the supporters’ frustration. I will 100% ask them to stick with the players because they need it and they need the supporters to turn their frustrations around. This is really a call for them to stick with us and stick with the players.

“There is certainly a situation where you can’t see the wood for the trees. We want to play the ball forward, we want to play through the lines, we want to attack the back four, but there’s that element of doubt in the players. We’ve got to worship them now and we’ve got to give them more support and encouragement.

“We have to give them everything they need to make them feel good about themselves, because they do analyse, and critique themselves. They don’t just go home and forget about their responsibilities, it stays with you for days as a player, manager or as a supporter, with the situation we find ourselves in. We have to give them every bit of support that they need for our next game.”

There were two debutants today, in Isaac Fletcher and Rob Apker, and Keith spoke about their performances, adding: “We’ve got to make sure that those players lift the rest of these players. We don’t want them to become part of the problems that the current players are in right now. They’re good players and I thought they played well today.

“I was encouraged by the response to being 1-0 down by the players. I’m optimistic for the future, and I’m optimistic with the group of players for the football club’s future. It’s difficult looking at the league, and it’s difficult being defeated again in the manner that we have. Those difficulties can turn into successes very quickly in football.”

The boss went on to sum up todays result, saying: “All we have to deal with is the truth that we’ve been beaten again, and the pressure is on and it’s more intense, and somewhere it has to be relieved. In order to do that, you have to play with freedom and with collective responsibility, but you have to free your mind so that you can play to your capabilities. That’s down to confidence, and belief, and I have belief in the players. I won’t give up on them.”

Finally, he spoke about injuries within the squad, concluding: “Mason O’ Malley suffered a hamstring injury in yesterday’s training, and other than that I don’t know with respect to the players who’ve completed today’s game. We’re not too sure how serious Mason’s injury is, but we’re hoping it’s just a bit of fatigue.”

The club wrote via their website: “Scunthorpe United can confirm it has parted company with first team manager Keith Hill and assistant manager Tony McMahon.

“We thank both for their efforts while with the club and wish them the best for the future

“Scunthorpe United can also confirm academy manager Tony Daws has agreed to take on the role of interim first team manager.

“Tony will be assisted by current goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite and former Iron defender Michael Nelson, who was most recently assistant manager at Hartlepool United.”

BBC Radio Humberside sports editor Mike White said on the sacking: “The fact he’s been sacked now might surprise some people because of the situation regarding the potential sale of the club. However, when you look at it they have lost five of their opening six games and it is a perilous situation.

“Fans had seen Grimsby bounce straight back after being relegated to the National League but I think realistically people looked at what Scunthorpe were dealing with this season and it was going to be about stability. Right now, albeit only six games in, they have a bigger task than that on their hands.

“In terms of a replacement, people are saying Nigel Adkins, who had great success here before, but I don’t know if this is the right job for him with where the club is.”

Keith Hill leaves Scunthorpe United with a win percentage in all competitions of 7.50%

Scunthorpe United’s league record since the start of the 2018/19 season
Played: 181
Won: 40
Drew: 43
Lost: 98
Points: 163/543
Finished: 23rd(r), 20th, 22nd, 24th(r) & currently 23rd


Anthony Daws (born 10 September 1966 in Sheffield) is an English former professional footballer, who played as a striker. He has been the academy manager at Scunthorpe United since 2005, and was appointed Caretaker Manager for just over 2 weeks in March 2011.

In his playing career he played for Notts County, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe United, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Halifax Town, Scarborough and Altrincham. A recurring back injury that first occurred during his spell at Scunthorpe United forced him to retire from playing at a relatively early age.

He then took up junior coaching positions at Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday before assuming his present role at Scunthorpe.

Daws’ Youth Career
1980–1981 – Manchester United
1981–1983 – Notts County
1983–1985 – Notts County (Apprentice)

Daws’ Senior Career
1984–1986 – Notts County – 8 games (1 goal)
1986–1987 – Sheffield United – -11 games (3 goals)
1987–1993 – Scunthorpe United 183 games (63 goals)
1993–1994 – Grimsby Town – -16 games (1 goal)
1994–1996 – Lincoln City – 51 games (13 goals)
1995–1996 – Halifax Town – 5 games (1 goal)
1996–1997 – Scarborough – 6 games (0 goals)
1996–1997 – Altrincham
1996–1997 – Bradford Park Avenue

National team
1981–1982 – England U15s
1984–1985 – England U18s

Twitter users reacted as Scunthorpe appoint ex-Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Grimsby, Lincoln player Tony Daws as interim manager…

@saleiron: Hopefully, that means we are holding off on a “permanent” appointment because a takeover is imminent.

@obemure_omamuzo: Daws appointment makes me think this means a takeover is imminent and it is a good decision getting an interim instead of sacking a permanent manager after a new takeover if it happens. Forr our performance after him we wait and see, he did this job before but now it is tougher

@donneriron: as long as he doesn’t speak ONLY to Swann! #SwannOut

@Rustyiron10: Good luck to Tony and the team.

@stewartdoyle123: No matter what the clubs position, that’s definitely one man I pray to god it works. Really all the best to Tony and his team.

@Scunnylado: Good luck Tony 👍 wishing you all the best #Swannout

@NotMaddoxH: Okay… can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Let’s push on and hope Daws can make an impact. Meanwhile, this could be a good thing in terms of how far along the takeover is 👍

@crogger123: Sensible appointment, no point in damaging another manager (victim) reputation under the current regime, hopefully Tony can return to his main role after.

@Greeny18o: My first ever favourite player – always held him in high regard at the club and wish him and the team all the best in the coming weeks.. think we all still know EXACTLY what needs to happen very soon though for any of us to have any real hope for the future!

@Peacock__Gray: It’s the right appointment, he’s a good manger and knows the players and club. He has no ambitions to take the role on full time as he knows the youth setup is more secure, so will be a safe pair of hands until the takeover is done or a permanent manager is in place.

@ScunnyRazor: Cheapest option right now, the club cannot afford to do much else. At least we don’t have an arrogant nobhead who thinks he’s worldy at the helm.

@ChrisGreen2610: Now let’s climb this shitty league

@robrich365: Good luck lads – we would have a bigger queue of full time replacement managers if Swann wasn’t here. manager record is THE worst in English football so please for the love of God Swann – feck off.

@LancsIron: Daws the obvious choice. They needed an assistant and to have someone who has played and coached in the division must help surely. Hopefully the fact it is an interim means it is getting closer… #UTI #AllSwannsout

@bradbailey896: Solid temp appointment, knows the club, already on payroll, humble and not an arrogant twat, back to basics, hopefully new owners are asap and this keeps us going till then.


@MalarkeyIron: Please play 4-4-2 Tony. My heart can’t take another Diamond, a Christmas Tree or 4-4-3.

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