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PREPARATIONS GOING WELL FOR SOUTHEND CLASH

8 September 2016

The Iron have no fresh injury worries ahead of their return to action, welcoming Southend United to Glanford Park on Saturday.

Following ten days without a game, the players are chomping at the bit to get back to playing ways following a weekend without a fixture.

"After the fixture list that we had with away games, cup games, extra time and the injuries we picked up (it was a welcome break)," he told The Iron PlayerHD.

"It was a tough ask for the players and I thought they did everything superbly well. The weekend off has given the lads a chance to recharge their batteries and a couple of the lads closer to full fitness who have been injured.

"The squad looks a lot healthier than it did a fortnight ago, including the three players we brought in on deadline day and hopefully we can take that into the game on Saturday."

Harry Toffolo, Richie Smallwood and Jonny Margetts have all been a part of the United side for over a week now, with the manager giving an update to the new arrivals' progress.

"They're three good players that have come into the squad," he continued.

"We know the qualities they can bring to the squad and the same as everyone else, they have to earn their place in the team. Players' performances pick teams and they'll add competition to the team and also give us different options.

"They've integrated into the group really well. Jonny is nursing a dead leg at the moment which he got while he was at Lincoln. His participation in training has been limited.

"Both Harry and Richie played in a behind-closed-doors game over at Leeds and did very well. We're just integrating them into the way we want to do things and the playing style we expect.

"I don't see any problems with that. They're all good lads and motivated to get games."

Elaborating on the behind-closed-doors fixture, Alexander labelled the game as a "very worthwhile experience" with the likes of the new signings, along with Paddy Madden and Sam Mantom all getting minutes on the pitch.

"We organised it a little while ago knowing we had to get match minutes into the players that needed it," he stated

"There are some lads who have missed a large chunk of the season in Paddy (Madden), Luke Williams, Jamie Ness and Sam Mantom and we're just trying to get them up to speed for what we need for the first team.

"We set the bar high in the physical demands and everything else and they have to match that before they get back into the swing of things. As soon as we can get as many players back to that, the better and the weekend certainly helped in that respect.

"It was a very worthwhile experience. Some of the youth boys joined us as well after their endeavours so far this season and it was good to see the boys getting out there."

See much more from Iron manager Graham Alexander, Josh Morris and Kevin van Veen on The Iron PlayerHD ahead of the Southend game.

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