Sam Slocombe feels the squad are more than ready to face the new challenge of League One football.The goalkeeper says that after what he believes was a successful pre-season for the Iron.
“We’ve done very well to get through pre-season without many injuries,” the United captain told The Iron Player.
“David Mirfin is a loss, there’s no doubt about that considering how he played last year.
"However, the chairman has gone out and shown his ambition and desire by bringing in Miles Addison and Miguel Llera, which has helped patch over the loss of Dave.”
Saturday’s game will mark the first time Slocombe has started a campaign as captain of the squad, a role that gives the 26-year-old great pride.
He said: “I’m both grateful and extremely proud to be captain but I’ve said before that while I’m happy to wear the armband, we’ve got nine or ten others in the dressing room that could also do it.
"We have that many leaders that we can group together. Different players have different skills and we use that to our advantage. The blend that Russ has got here is fantastic.”
The Iron shotstopper was quick to praise the attitude of his teammates this summer, while also explaining how the 1-0 defeat to Lincoln may have actually had some positives on the squad.
He said: “The work that the lads have done over the last few weeks has been phenomenal. I’m sure fans would have been disappointed with the loss against Lincoln but we managed to field two sides at two different venues.
"The result may be the push in the right direction that we need - to show that it’s still difficult and not all too easy. You can’t just rest on your laurels and expect things to happen; you have to work for it.
“I believe that work has shown in the last two games against Huddersfield and Leicester. Huddersfield fielded a very strong team and we were excellent. These competitive fixtures are the type of games you want leading up to the season.”
After last season’s promotion, Scunthorpe find themselves in League One - a division Slocombe is relishing to play in once again. He said the squad is “excited” by the prospect of playing teams that have a less-direct approach.
He said: “You play against a couple of teams in League Two who pump the ball into the box whenever possible and they’re not nice to play against. You don’t get many teams that do that in League One so I think our squad is more suited to this division as we want to get on the ball and play.
"The way training has been going there’s no doubt we’re all excited for the new campaign.”
Scunthorpe travel to Swindon on Saturday for their first fixture of the 2014/15 campaign.
Slocombe described the opening day as “always a bit unpredictable” due to the fact “nobody knows what’s going to happen at the start of the season.”
“At this point no one knows what the team is going to be or where they’re going to end up come the end of the season,” said Slocombe.
“You saw that last year with Sheffield United – they had a torrid start but enjoyed a great end to the season.
“We’ve just got to go to Swindon and expect the unexpected – they might field a completely different side to their pre-season games but we’ve got to deal with it.”
Slocombe also shed some light on the Iron’s preparation for match days, with Russ Wilcox focusing on his own team’s strengths, and not the oppositions.
The Scunthorpe captain said: “The good thing that Russ brings to the squad is that we look at things the other teams do but his main priority is our own game – what we do well and not so well.
"As long as we can minimise the things we don’t do well I think we can come away with a really good result on Saturday.”
See much more from Sam Slocombe, and others, on The Iron Player.