Talking to the press on Tuesday morning, Ned Kelly fielded a lot of questions about the Iron’s strike force.The questions were specifically about man of the moment Tom Hopper, and the hugely anticipated signing Kevin van Veen.
Talking about van Veen first, Kelly spoke about the pursuit of the 23-year old while he was playing in the Jupiler League, and how he was taken aback about how keen he was to become a United player.
Kelly said: “He’s done very well, we went to watch him a while ago and kept an eye on what was happening and it was important as it is for every player that comes to the football club that they want to be here, and Kevin has been very vocal in the fact he wants to come to Scunthorpe.
"He’s done very well at FC Oss, so he’ll be looking to kick on with us and hopefully carry on his goalscoring."
Football players can always take a while to settle in to a new club when they make a move, and even more so when they switch both leagues and countries, but when asked about whether van Veen could cut it in English football, Kelly stated that his raw quality was enough to help him succeed, although it can always be difficult to predict.
Kelly stated: “That’s always a six million dollar question isn’t it? He’s got the quality, he’s got the ability and he’s got goals in his feet.
"He scores different types of goals and he’ll give us a completely different option. He’s very tall and wiry, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that Kevin is going to do really well.”
Hopper was awarded accolade after accolade this week after scoring two goals during the 4-1 win, adding to his tally to make it four goals in four games.
He’s been put forward for the League One player of the month, and Kelly admitted it was very flattering for both the player and the club.
Kelly said: “It’s great! To see your peers, or whoever does the voting for the player of the month can recognise someone doing really well, it’s obviously very pleasing.
"It’s a great honour for Tom himself and it’s great for the football club because we’re obviously doing things the right way with him getting four goals in four games.”
Hopper extended his loan deal on deadline day until the end of the current campaign, a move which was popular with the fans, and with the coaching staff, with Kelly praising the work rate of the 21-year old.
Kelly continued: “He’s an important member of the squad that’s why we were keen to keep him.
"He’s a developing player, he’s Leicester City’s player technically, but he’s learning the game, learning about first team football and he will do very well because he has the right work ethic.
"He’s very committed and very dedicated, and he tries his utmost all the time, so he’s going to have a nice long career in football.”
Hopper has started the last few games as more of a lone striker, a role he has relished and succeeded in, but despite his fantastic solo performances, Kelly also gave praise to the players either side of him who have aided him in rise to success.
Kelly said: “He’s complimented very well with Paddy on one side, and Jacob Murphy or Sheffs on the other so they’ve worked well as a three.
"It’s not just a one man show. Four in four is a great return, he’ll be looking to add to his tally against Oldham.”
See much more from Ned Kelly on The Iron Player.