United manager Russ Wilcox is looking forward to a quick turnaround of games when Notts County visit Glanford Park on Tuesday evening.After Saturday’s derby defeat at home to Doncaster, Scunthorpe now have to dust themselves off and bounce back in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“I’ve had a good reaction from the lads, they are in good spirits,” Wilcox told The Iron Player.
“It’s about turning things around and keeping that belief in the group. My staff and players are full of that belief. We have games coming up against teams around us in the table, so it’s an important period, but one where we can turn the season around.”
Shaun Derry’s men arrive on the back of a 1-0 win over Gillingham in Sky Bet League One on Saturday and Wilcox is expecting a tough test. We’re making the trip to Gillingham on Saturday in the league and the fixture meant the club could watch the action to assess both sides in the match at Meadow Lane.
“It will be a tough game,” he said.
“They are seven unbeaten and I think they have the least goals against record in the division.
“With Roy Carroll in goal, he’s playing really well and he saved a penalty on Saturday to earn them the three points against Gillingham and they beat comfortably beat Crewe recently, so it’s a tough tough game.
“Lee Turnbull went to the game on Saturday, so we have reports on both sides for Tuesday and Saturday. They’re teams around us and it’s become a bit of a mini-league where we can jump out of it if we pick some points up in the next few games.
“Results lift the players and the supporters and they will be coming here full of confidence. That’s what we are trying to do in a difficult period. Periods change and I have a massive belief in myself and the group that we can turn this around and make it a positive season.”
The Iron boss has also reiterated the significance of this competition, which we reached the final of in 2009.
He added: “The importance of every competition is there, me and my staff want to try and win every game so we will be fielding a strong side. I’m surprised some teams are choosing to rest players in these games, but that’s their decision for whatever reason but we will be going out all guns blazing for the victory.”
He also revealed he has no fresh injury concerns from Saturday, but he will be without loan defender Shaun Brisley, who is cup-tied.
“Callum Howe or Miguel Llera will play instead (of Brisley), it’s simple really.
“They are both working hard, Callum’s developing well and he’s still young, he’s only 20, and since I walked through this building his development has been top drawer.
“Miguel’s full of experience at 35 and he’s played Championship football so I have two good players to choose from who are at very different points in their careers at the moment, but they are both capable of performing.
“Everybody’s fine from Saturday, so that’s a positive. It was a game which could have gone either way and it was down to key moments. Goals change games and we couldn’t hang onto the lead for long enough. At the moment we are doing lots right, but a few slip ups are costing us dearly.”
James Severn returned from injury to appear as an unused substitute at Glanford Park at the weekend and the manager confirmed there are a couple of players nearing a return, while also providing an update on Lyle Taylor’s groin problem.
“James Severn’s return is a boost and Sam Slocombe’s not too far away either, we’re hoping they can both feature in next week’s reserve game against Rotherham,” he confirmed.
“It will be a huge positive and Deon Burton did some training on Monday so fingers crossed he gets no reaction.
“We’re slowly getting people back in the fold and them three players are desperate to get back in. They know they are needed out there and they are working hard to make themselves available.
“Lyle’s injury has settled down over the weekend and we have to be careful with it. When you get setbacks you need to give it two or three days and he’s done that. I’ve spoke to him and he’s itching to get back out there and help the cause.”
Wilcox also delivered a final verdict on Saturday’s loss, insisting his side are not too far away from turning a corner, following a difficult start to life back in the third tier of English football.
“The lads are working hard and they can’t do any more than they’re doing except cutting out individual errors, which we spoke about on Saturday, it’s really costing us dearly and it has done all season. It’s hard to replicate and work on that in training but we’re making sure they are fully focused on the job in hand.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox and Paddy Madden on The Iron Player.