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THE PLAYERS ARE HUNGRY TO DO WELL

6 February 2015

Manager Mark Robins declared his side had no fresh injury concerns going in to Saturday’s highly anticipated game at home to Oldham Athletic.

Speaking on The Iron Player, Robins stressed the importance of keeping the squad fit and injury free, with the games coming thick and fast over the month of February.

Robins said: “There are no new injuries. We’ve had a good week and there is nothing new to report so we are as we were and looking forward to the game.

"I think it’s important at times to have as many players as possible who are eligible and fit to play and we are getting there.

"When I came in we had 11 or 12 injuries with long-term victims within that, and at the moment there’s only Dave Syers and the two goalkeepers (Sam Slocombe and James Severn).

"Apart from that I think we are pretty much good to go."

When asked about the benefit of injured players returning to the first team fold, Robins spoke about the core of United squad, and how it has strengthened after the additions of new signings, the improvement of players, and most importantly keeping his key players off the treatment table.

Robins said: “When people say ‘all these players coming back’, I think we have a core of 22 or 23 players now, and all in all there’s about 30 players that are available to choose from maybe.

"Some of them are out on loan now, so there is a decent core of players to pick from and the key for me is to keep those as fit as we can do or as many of those fit as we can possibly can for the rest of the season.”

When asked about whether Saturday was a chance to utilise the slightly larger squad he has at his disposal at the moment he responded: “Who knows? We’ll take it one game at a time and assess it after every game.

"We’ll approach this game in the same way as every game we’ve had before this, and then assess things after the game.”

Talking about Saturday’s opposition more specifically, Robins commented on how Oldham, like Scunthorpe, are only a few good performances away from the play off places.

Robins added: “It’ll be a tough game. We're playing against a side that could go in to the play-off places given the right run of results.

"They are only three points away from that, they lost at Barnsley on Tuesday night which we went to watch.

"They’ll be coming here hoping to pick up the three points and not lose two on the bounce.

"It gives me a good idea where they are, but I knew what to expect anyway.

"I think they’ve done very well and they are in a good position in the league at the moment.

"They’ll be wanting to try and consolidate their position in and around the play-offs, so they’ll be coming here with the intention of trying to win.”

Oldham's former Iron striker Jonathan Forte is the second top goalscorer in League One now with 14 goals (after Chesterfield’s Eoin Doyle moved to Cardiff), and Robins not only recounted on past experiences with the Barbados international, but also praised him for his form this campaign.

Robins stated: “I know Jono. Jono’s been a good player wherever he’s gone, he’s done pretty well this season and outscored every other season he’s played.

"He’s in a rich vein of form, but they’ve signed two new strikers as well so it depends on which combination he’s going to choose, but again there are some good players to choose from.”

Robins believes if United perform like they have been on their travels and at Glanford Park, a winning run at home will come very soon.

He rounded off saying: “ I think it’s important we keep performing the way we have done already both home and away.

"We’ve been good, we’ve got a good group of players who’ve worked their socks off for me ever since I’ve walked through the door.

"If they continue to do that then we’ve got a chance of winning football matches. As soon as we take our foot of the gas that’s when things will start to unravel, but there’s no sign of it.

"They’re hungry, they want to do well, and we really need to hold them back a little bit because they are looking ready to go and ready for the next game.”

See much more from Mark Robins, Ned Kelly, Jordan Clarke, Kevin van Veen and Neal Bishop on The Iron Player.


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