United midfielder Liam O’Neil is looking forward to returning to contention for the trip to Walsall on Saturday.The 21-year-old, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, missed the midweek draw in the FA Cup with Chesterfield as he was not given permission to play by his parent club.
Because of the postponement at Sheffield United, it will be O’Neil’s first appearance since Boxing Day and he feels he is more than ready to return to action.
“It’s always good to get a break for recovery,” O’Neil conceded to The Iron Player.
“There’s going to be a lot of games coming up soon and hopefully if I am still here we can get the right results and I can be part of them.”
The Iron travel to Walsall, which is not far from O’Neil’s parent club and he is relishing the chance to come up against some familiar faces at the Banks’s Stadium.
“I have got a few good friends there that I used to play in the youth team with so I am looking forward to it,” he said.
“It is going to be a good game and a tough test. They play good football. Hopefully we can do so at the same time, dominate the pitch and hopefully the game.
“I haven’t lost since I have been here so I want to keep winning or getting at least a draw but we will be going for the three points on Saturday to keep the good run going and keep climbing the table.”
A ten-match unbeaten run has seen the Iron escape the relegation zone in a resurgent couple of months under Mark Robins. United are now seven points off sixth-placed Sheffield United with two games in hand and some fans at Glanford Park are confident for what the rest of the season has in store.
The match, which is a 3pm kick-off, is also O’Neil’s first since scoring his first professional goal, in the Boxing Day win over Rochdale at Glanford Park two weeks ago, and he is hoping to add to his tally to help the team move forward.
“Hopefully I can keep it going,” the West Brom loanee stated.
“If I get another goal it will be great but three points are the most important thing at the end of the day and if it’s any of the other lads getting the goals, I am happy with that.
“We have got to take it game by game, the manager has obviously brought in some good players in this week but we have to keep getting three points every Saturday and we have to keep going really.”
Centre-midfielder O’Neil is unbeaten in his seven games in a Claret and Blue shirt and, with his loan soon due to expire, he revealed talks are underway to extend his deal at Glanford Park.
He stated: “There has been talks but I am not sure what agreement both clubs have got to at the moment so it is yet to do. I want games, whether it is here or at West Brom, we will see what happens.
(On Tony Pulis) I have heard from him, he is old school and a great manager so I think he will go on and do a good job with West Brom.
“What is my best performance so far? Probably the second half against Bradford, mainly because we all played well and it is the best we have played since I have been here and if you ask the gaffer he will probably say the same thing. We probably should have got something earlier on in that game but I think Bradford sticks out.”
See much more from Liam O'Neil, Mark Robins and Gary McSheffrey on The Iron Player.