Mark Robins ensures his side are ready to go on Saturday when Steve Cotterill’s Bristol City come to town.Talking about the difficulties of playing an FA Cup tie with extra time added on top just a few short days ago, Robins spoke about managing the squad and working out who is fresh to play, and who may need a rest.
Robins said: “We haven’t got that science yet that figures out whether a player is definitely ready or not, all you can do is look at the minutes he’s played in matches and then look at him in training.
"Specific jobs are going to be needed to be done this weekend, and we’ve got to make sure we get that right, so we need a balance between what we do when we have the ball and what we do when we haven’t got the ball, and that’s really, really important.
"They are a really a good side, and it’s reflected by where they are in the division.”
Isaiah Osbourne returned to the fold after missing the last two games with a virus, while defender Jordan Clarke has also missed the trip to Walsall, but Robins believes the pair are to be involved in the upcoming games this month.
Robins continued: “Isaiah’s looking okay, everybody is looking okay from the other day.
"All bodes well, however coming off the back of the 120 minutes, some needed games, some needed game time, so we’ll freshen it up there’s no doubt.
"I’m sure they’ll do the same, Steve Cotterill made comments after their game (in the FA Cup) and even before the game about freshening things up.
"They’ve got some of the best players in the division in their team. There’s some good quality in there, so we’ll know we’ll have to be all on this weekend to try and cause an upset, and certainly believe we’ll have a real good go of doing that.
"Jordan Clarke has also been out for a while, but we’ve been monitoring him. We don’t want to throw him in too early in games, but a game like this everybody wants to be fit, and I think what we’ll find is that everybody will be fit.”
Another question that arose was about the rehabilitation of goalkeeper James Severn, and Robins shed some light on the progress of the shot stopper.
Robins said: “James, like the others has been out for a long time.
"He was also out on loan at Alfreton, and after 15 minutes of his debut he pulled his thigh muscle, and he’s had a problem with that in the past.
"What we’ve done is we’ve looked at his recovery at St George’s Park, the physios have been working with him, and he’s now on the mend and closer to a return, so he’s training with the squad now, and hopefully we can expect to see him back in the not so distant future.
"He’s been okay, he’s been able to mix it up between training here and training at St George’s Park, there’s not been any real issue in his confidence.”
One of last week’s key players for the Iron in the 4-1 win at Walsall was Leicester City loanee Tom Hopper, who scored and assisted Neal Bishop on his club debut. The forward was ineligible to play in the FA Cup, but Robins wouldn’t be drawn in to confirming whether or not Hopper would slot back in to the front line.
Robins stated: “I’m not going to tell you the team as normal, but he’s not done himself any harm in terms of his performance last week.
"Having said that, Lyle ran his socks off in the midweek game, and obviously it was a real lone furrow at times, and I would bet that he ran over 11k in that game, so he’s put a real shift in, and that’s something I’m pleased about.
"I think every one of them put a real shift in the other night, and obviously they are looking to stake a claim to play in every game that’s coming around at the moment, there are some big games this month.”
Finally, when asked about a potential selection dilemma, Robins said that the team needed the impetus to find the all-important goals, as well as having the adaptation to deal with a different style of play the Iron aren’t used to facing in terms of both skill and formation.
Robins: “Just putting that side out that’s going to make that extra bit of difference is important.
"We need that quality, we need the ability of being able to turn things around in to goals when we attack them. In all honesty I think they have some good attacking players, good attacking threats, and the way they set themselves up in the 3-5-2 formation, they play it pretty well.
"They’ve got good players for those positions and it suits them. We are going to try and cause an upset, and try and cause them problems as much as we possibly can do.
"We are at home, but we may have to play like an away side during some points of the game. At times we will need to be patient. I think it’s going to take all sorts to find a way to win the game, and we’ll do everything within our power to do that.
"They are a good side, and we’ll be going all out for the three points, I can assure you about that.”
See much more from Mark Robins, Miguel Llera and Jordan Clarke on The Iron Player.