After the Iron came from behind to earn a hard-fought draw at Yeovil on Saturday, the Claret and Blue now have to regroup quickly with a tricky test on Tuesday evening.It’s the second round of the Capital One Cup and we host Sky Bet Championship side Reading, who are led by a management team of familiar faces in Nigel Adkins and Andy Crosby.
“Training on Monday went okay,” Russ Wilcox told The Iron Player, looking ahead to the game which comes after we beat Blackburn Rovers in round one.
“There’s a few bumps and bruises from Saturday so it’s about putting together a competitive team.
“It is going to be a tough match, when we welcome Nigel and Andy back to the football club. They did an amazing job in their time here before going onto great things.
“It will also be nice for the fans to show their appreciation before getting right behind us and seeing us hopefully move into round three.”
Looking back at the point gained in Somerset, Wilcox insists the Iron can use the fixture to gather momentum after gaining the first point of a tough opening few games.
“It would be great for our confidence and we’ve got to build on Saturday,” he added.
“It wasn’t a great performance, or a great game for that matter, but we got off the mark with a point away from home against a team who was in the Championship last season. They were two leagues above us so it’s a very positive point and we’ve got to take that now and move onto Reading and then Walsall.
“We have three home games on the spin with Chesterfield (in the JPT) next week and we’re going to remain positive and be focused and fully committed.
“We’re trying to get a settled side. I looked at Fleetwood the other night, who made just one change and he (Nathan Pond) returned on Saturday for them so they have made just one change in four matches, while we have made numerous amounts.”
With an ever-growing injury list, the manager admitted he is struggling for numbers and they are waiting to see the extent of Deon Burton’s problem, after he was left out of the Yeovil clash as a precaution.
He was sore with bruising to the bone on his knee after the Fleetwood match last Tuesday and Wilcox said:
“Deon’s still not great so he will be touch and go for tomorrow and there’s a few players with bruising and tightness which we will assess on Tuesday morning.
“There will be nobody rested because we may struggle to make the full 18 man squad, I’ll be honest.”
The manager also confirmed last week’s double signings will not be playing, for two different reasons: “We can’t play Luke O’Neill because Burnley won’t allow it and Billy Kee played in the previous round with Burton so we’re two down from Saturday already.
He stated: “We want to assemble a side to give a good Reading side a tough match, it’s only two seasons since they were in the Premier League.”
Another signing last week was shot stopper Bobby Olejnik, who was drafted in late after Sam Slocombe and James Severn were ruled out and he praised the Austrian, who is able to play in the Tuesday evening clash.
“Bobby’s been allowed to play and we thank Peterborough (his parent club) for that,” he said.
“He’s done ever so well in what has been difficult for him. He came in at 5pm last week two hours before Fleetwood and he showed on Saturday what he’s all about with some good saves.
“The more time he spends with the group, the more important he will be for us.
“Bobby is probably the best loan signing we could have taken- he has two years experience with Peterborough and has played over 90 games in the last two seasons so it’s a terrific signing for us.”
James Severn was ruled out with a groin problem and the extent of Sam Slocombe’s injury has now been revealed, with Wilcox confirming it wasn’t good news:
“Sam’s got a little crack in his shoulder so we’re looking at a couple of months and it’s a blow.
“I said last week: both Sam and James Severn never missed a training session or matchday squad last season and they’re both going to be out for six to eight weeks, so we’re glad we could get Bobby in.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, and others, on The Iron Player.