United’s club captain Sam Slocombe hopes to make his first appearance at Glanford Park this season, in Sunday’s FA Cup second round tie with Worcester City.He is relishing the chance to be back playing in front of his home fans again.
The Iron goalkeeper played the first two games of the season but suffered a shoulder injury during the team’s 1-0 win at Blackburn in the Capital One Cup in August.
Slocombe says he has been getting back into form since his return against Peterborough on November 1 and is enjoying playing in a dressing room full of confidence.
He said: “I was a bit rusty for the first couple of games. It was the first time I’d had a prolonged period out like that at the start of the season . You almost only get four or five weeks pre-season then you’re out again. Every game I’ve played I feel better and better.
“It will be nice to get out at Glanford Park, it’s my first competitive game here this season, so it will be nice to get back out in front of our home crowd and hopefully give them a win. It’s been great coming into a side that wants to work hard to put in the horrible graft before doing the pretty stuff with the ball so it’s refreshing.
“The confidence and belief in the squad is brilliant at the minute. The gaffer knows we have enough quality within the dressing room to probably be challenging at the top end of this league and not the bottom. But we’re down there and we have to make sure we are doing the horrible things well first.
“We need to get up and out of the bottom four, into mid-table and push onwards and upwards. The gaffer knows we have that ability and he is making sure we know it too. The lads are enjoying their football, the lads on loan are hungry to play football and it’s just falling into a good mix at the minute.”
Slocombe has been really impressed with how the players that have been brought into the squad have settled in and helped improve performances on the pitch.
Alex Davey has recently been brought in on loan from Chelsea and made his debut in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Barnsley. Liam O’Neil is also on loan from a Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion, and has made two appearances so far for the Iron, the 2-2 draw with Crawley and last weekend’s game at Barnsley.
Scunthorpe’s goalkeeper says it has been refreshing to see the youngsters’ appetite for the game and their confidence whilst playing.
He said: “They have come in and you can see they are hungry for game time. They have obviously come away from their parent club because they want or need first team football and that’s good for us because they are showing their desire for the game out on the pitch.
“I’ve been really impressed with Liam’s (O’Neill) dominance on the pitch, where he demands the people around him. For a young lad to do that, it’s not a quality that everybody has, certain people don’t have it.
"He’s really organising people around and for him to come in at the age he is, it’s excellent and you know if you give him the ball, he’ll very rarely give it away. On the back of that, Barnsley was a bit higher tempo from the Crawley game, so it was a bit of a step up from that and he stepped up to the game really well.
“Alex (Davey) has come from great pedigree and he sat in there and really dealt with everything they threw forward at him. I’ve played against Marcello Trotta, who scored their goal, a couple of times and for him to play against a striker like that is excellent.
"It was only a short time, but he was against Sam Winnall too and we know what he can give. To play against players like that in the calibre he did it was unbelievable.”
Saturday’s win at Barnsley ended a terrific November for the Iron, finishing the month unbeaten with three wins and just one draw.
Paddy Madden scored twice to take all three points away from Oakwell, after Marcello Trotta had put the home side ahead in the first half.
Slocombe, who played the 90 minutes, was delighted with the defensive resilience his side showed and also gave his opinion on Madden’s incredible second goal.
He said: “I’m not sure what the defenders were doing but he’s taken it really well.
"That’s what Paddy will bring you, you know what he will give you every game.
"He’s going to work really hard - he’s unfortunate that he has been playing on the right of a three or just behind a striker, but he is placed there because of his willingness to work hard for the team.
"I can’t give him any more credit for the job he is doing right now, for him to play in that position and to pick up goals.
"You know when he plays as a striker he’ll score for you but he’s been getting goals in the position he is in and working hard. He’s been brilliant and he deserves the praise he has been getting at the minute.
“It’s a difficult place to go, especially with their recent upturn of form. It was a tough game to be honest, they kept the ball very well. It makes the win so much sweeter knowing you have defended so well for so long.
"I expected them to change their style a bit later on, but they didn’t do it until five minutes from the end. They were quite patient with the ball.
"To deal with the attacking players they have got, we did really well. We spoke in the week leading up to the game, saying there’s ways to get at them and beat them.
"We really used that to our advantage and it was nice to come away with an almost perfect result but it was a great win.”