ANDY BUTLER is confident he can mark his first return to Scunthorpe United by helping Town to a third successive away win – and fourth double of the League I season.
The 25-year-old centre-back came through the youth ranks at Glanford Park and made 153 first-team appearances before joining Town last summer.
His Scunthorpe spell included promotion to the Championship in 2007, but now he’s aiming to dent his former club’s bid to repeat that feat.
Nigel Adkins’ sixth-placed side currently occupy the final play-off berth, and with Tranmere breathing down their necks, will be desperate to beat Town.
They suffered the disappointment of a Wembley loss to Luton in last Sunday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
But before that, they won three on the spin, all at Glanford Park, where they have been beaten only three times in 19 league games this time around.
Town have yet to win a league game at the venue – this will be their fourth attempt – and haven’t won in their last six league matches in the Lincolnshire town.
The challenge for Butler and Co is to repeat the feat of April 9, 1977, when Town claimed the points with a 4-0 Fourth Division win inspired by Terry Gray’s hat trick.
Butler has already enjoyed one win over the Iron this season, with fellow former Scunthorpe player Jim Goodwin and Gary Roberts sealing December’s 2-0 Galpharm success.
Inconsistency has ended the play-off ambitions of Lee Clark’s side, but Butler knows there is still plenty to play for over the final five games.
“Scunthorpe are in the thick of the promotion race, and that’s where we want to be at this stage next season,” he said.
“The manager has got ideas and plans for reshaping the squad this summer, so at this stage, everyone is playing for a place.
“We’ve struggled to get any real consistency this season – just look at our last three games – and it’s crucial we put that right, starting straight away.”
Butler, of course, is referring to the recent away wins over Hereford and Bristol Rovers, then 1-0 home defeat by Southend.
That was down to a controversial penalty, Tom Clarke being penalised for handball, and Butler said: “It was frustrating, because none us thought it was deliberate.
“But the decision is down to the referee, and you have to take it on the chin and get on with things.
“The best way for us to do that is go over to Scunthorpe and build on those great results against Hereford and Bristol.
“Glanford Park is a tough place for visiting teams to get a result, but if we play as we can do, we can win.”
Town, whose three doubles so far have come against Leeds, Swindon and Hereford, are seeking an eighth away win of the campaign.