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Interviews

Alexander looking for a step-up

12 July 2017

Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander is looking forward to a ‘step-up in everything’ when his side visit York City for a pre-season friendly on Wednesday night.

Following Saturday’s 6-0 win at North Ferriby United, Scunthorpe travel to Bootham Crescent for their second game of the warm-up schedule.

It’s the final game before a pre-season training camp in Austria, and Alexander provided an update to iFollow Iron about training, fitness, trialists, transfers and more.

ON TRAINING SO FAR THIS WEEK…
GA: Looking at the players on Monday morning, they did the right things (in terms of recovery from Saturday). They trained well. We’re working on the physical training plan at the moment but are seeking to get the tactical side in as well. The physical stats were good from the halves people played on Saturday, so it was a positive weekend for us. We have to step up again and look to improve the performance and physical output from Saturday into Wednesday’s game.

ON WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR AT YORK…
GA: It needs to be a step up in everything - the speed of thought, speed of pass, the pressing, the tactical side. It all just needs to build - not massively though, because we don’t have to be where we want to be at the end of pre-season yet, but there has to be signs of improvement each time. I think we’ll get that, we’ve seen it in the training, with the players slowly building up their game readiness.

"It needs to be a step up in everything - the speed of thought, speed of pass, the pressing, the tactical side. It all just needs to build."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON THE GAME PLAN…
GA: We’ll hopefully get 45 minutes into all the players. We have a set plan for all the games. We have to prepare in the right way. We’ll mix the teams up from Saturday, not having the exact same line-ups. We’ll hopefully have Murray Wallace, Josh Morris and Duane Holmes available too so that will be a bonus seeing them take part in their first game. If Saturday was a league game they could have played but there’s no points at stake at the moment so we thought it was best that they work with the medical team over the weekend and then train properly from Monday. They’ve done that and look to be in good shape. Sam Mantom was due to train on Tuesday afternoon so if he got through that okay he will play as well but we’ll see how he is.

ON WHO WILL MISS OUT…
GA: Luke Williams will miss out again, but he wasn’t even in our thoughts for this game. We’re looking for him to join in training this week but not for this game. Tom Hopper (below) twisted his ankle towards the end of the half he played on Saturday, so that’s a little bit swollen. It’s nothing major but he won’t play on Wednesday.

Tom Hopper

ON DECIDING WHETHER TO RISK A PLAYER OR NOT…
GA: There’s a balance between wrapping them in cotton wool and them not being ready for the start of the season. We make a balanced decision between speaking to the player, and to Chris Burton and his medical team. We talk to the players all the time about a common sense approach. Pre-season is tough, you will feel aches and pains - it’s just about what you can go through and what you can’t.

ON TRIALIST LIAM TROTTER…
GA: Liam has trained this week and will take part in the game as well. We’re looking forward to seeing Liam again and we’re looking for an increase from all the players - he’s the same as everyone else. He’s trained really well and is a player of quality - you can see that in his passes and general play.

ON OTHER POTENTIAL TRIALISTS…
GA: You could have 100 trialists in if you want to but we have to be careful we don’t overload the squad with too many strangers and we must get the work into the players that they need. At maximum, we’ll look at one or two if needed, but we’re not looking for anyone else at the moment on that side of it.

ON POTENTIAL TRANSFERS…
GA: Time will tell. We’re constantly talking between myself, the chairman, Jim Rodwell and Lee Turnbull about player recruitment and what we can do. We’re just waiting for things to come back to us, negotiations and so forth. It’s pretty boring stuff some of the time because you’re just reiterating things you’ve already spoken about. We want to get the right players in and sometimes you have to take a bit of time with that.

See much more from Graham Alexander on iFollow Iron.


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