Iron boss Graham Alexander says the third round Checkatrade Trophy clash with Oxford United will be the “toughest” test his side have faced so far in the competition.Alexander highlighted the quality the U’s have in their ranks, but stated he’ll be looking for his players to build on the impressive form shown throughout this year’s tournament.
Speaking to The Iron PlayerHD, Alexander said: “We go into cup action now.
“It’s a trophy we’ve done well in so far, with us winning all the games, and we want to try and continue that.
“However, this will be the toughest game we’ve had I feel.
“They showed their quality by beating Rotherham away at the weekend in the FA Cup, and we’ll have to be at our best to get the result."
He revealed the team selection will be altered slightly also, to reward those in the squad who’ve been training consistently well.
A start may come too soon for new addition Craig Davies though, as Alexander says he’s unsure the striker will be ready to complete a full 90 minutes.
“We’ll make a couple of changes, and give an opportunity to players who deserve to play,” he declared.
“They’ve been training ever so hard and knocking on the door of the first team, and they deserve their opportunity to play on Tuesday.
“I’ve not fully decided if Craig is fit enough to start yet, because he hasn’t played regular football for a while.”
Giving his views on Saturday’s 3-2 success against Bury, Alexander spoke of his delight to see the team back winning once more.
“We were delighted to get back to winning ways on Saturday,” Alexander stated.
“It was a really good performance from the players, I was really happy with them, and we got the three points we deserved.
“It’s great that we did that and put a smile on the faces of the crowd, and the atmosphere was really good as well.”
There’s continued progress on the injury front for David Mirfin and Conor Townsend according to Alexander, and he says both are recovering at a good pace.
“They’re going along steadily - each day is an improvement,” he explained.
“There have been no setbacks, which is important. I think it’s vital that you always keep moving forward with any rehab work.
“Apart from the stage Mirf (David Mirfin) went through the other week, everything has been positive.”
As for players returning to the club, the Scunthorpe manager stated he’s pleased to see Scott Laird and Jack King return from their respective loan spells at Walsall and Stevenage.
Alexander now says it’s a case of assessing the pair, but declared it’s good to have two more quality players at his disposal.
“Scott Laird and Jack King are back with us,” Alexander revealed.
“Kingy is with the medical staff at the moment. He’s played a lot of games - as has Scott Laird, who trained with us on Monday.
“They’re two great lads, with real good qualities, and we’ll just see how they progress with us now.
“It’s always good having good players around, and those two fit the bill.”
See much more from Graham Alexander and Kevin van Veen on The Iron PlayerHD.
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