Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox is keen to give his players more time on the pitch, as pre-season heats up ahead of the new season.After giving most of the senior squad at least 45 minutes in recent games, the Iron will play two games this evening, both 7.00pm kick-offs.
Wilcox will oversee one half of the squad as they play Lincoln at Glanford Park in the Lincolnshire Cup and the other half will travel to Carlton Town.
“John Schofield and Andy Dawson will be in-charge at Carlton,” Wilcox confirmed to The Iron Player.
“I’ll be bringing in Tony Daws to help me in the Lincoln game alongside Paul Musselwhite.
“We’ll get DVD’s of both games anyway so we can have another look at each one.”
United were 2-1 winners at Gainsborough on Saturday, with goals from strikers Deon Burton and Paddy Madden, while Terry Hawkridge missed the game against his former club due to injury.
The manager added: “We have no new injuries to report, so we are looking to push on now with more minutes for the players. The Lincoln game only allows us three subs from five so I expect at least eight players to play 90 minutes against Lincoln.
“Terry’s absolutely fine. I was surprised as I thought it may have been a few more days but it’s panned out well. He did some work with the physio before the Gainsborough game and he’s trained fully on Monday and Tuesday without any issues so he’ll play the Carlton game.”
Whilst he didn’t reveal the selection of each side, Wilcox did confirm he will be fielding strong teams at both fixtures.
“I want to win both games and the teams will be mixed," he added.
“We are two-and-a-half weeks from the first game of the season at Swindon and the players have got to show me they’re fighting for the shirt.
“They’ve got to earn that right and I can only pick eleven, so the ones who don’t get picked have to be on the heels of the players starting and that’s how it works.”
The size of the squads for both trips means some of the younger Iron players will be involved, such as Taron Hare, who also featured against Gainsborough.
“It’s great for the youth players,” Wilcox said. “I think Taron will get some time at right-back and that’s good for him and his development.
“Even if the younger lads are coming off the bench, they’re tasting first-team experience.”
David Mirfin is the only long-term absentee and Wilcox confirmed he will definitely miss the season opener at Swindon, after undergoing an operation on his knee on Friday.
Due to the injury being relatively short-term, the Iron manager is willing to replace the influential Mirfin from within.
“We have to be mindful of the centre-back position but the players already at the club will have a chance to stake their claim for a place there,” he added, confirming there will be no trialists at either game.
“We’ve had the option to take them on but we have chosen not to. We’ve got a capable enough squad, so I’m just hoping we don’t pick any more injuries up.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Neal Bishop and Sean McAllister on The Iron Player.