With the Iron's pre-season schedule now confirmed, manager Graham Alexander reacted to his side's plans for the upcoming six weeks.
United return to training at the end of June, with an intense schedule planned for the six weeks leading up to the start of the Sky Bet League One campaign.
Speaking after the final pre-season fixture on English soil was confirmed, he gave an overview of the six weeks in store for the players when they return.
ON THE PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE...
GA: It's been really difficult putting it all together. Not knowing what division you're going to be in makes it hard to pinpoint opposition sides in advance, because you don't want to be playing a team from your own division. We had to wait, especially when you look at the Luton game, as both sides were in the play-offs. We've had a lot of people working on it and we feel that it will get us to where we want to be after the six weeks, so we're ready to kick on into the proper season.
ON THE PRE-SEASON MATCHES...
GA: Each game will be a good test for the particular stage of pre-season we are at. For the first two games against North Ferriby United and York City, we will probably have two squads where no player plays more than 45 minutes. When we come back from Austria, we have stepped up the toughness of the opponent and the two games we have scheduled will certainly test us. They will be teams full of quality and we will have to be ready for the tests.
ON THE PLAYERS AND STAFF RETURNING...
GA: It's a competitive business and we're looking to compete from day one of pre-season. We will be straight into our hard work and it will be a tough six weeks. I've spoken to each player individually and they understand that. They know their responsibilities to look after themselves over the summer while having a good break - which they deserve, as they worked exceptionally hard last season - but they have to be ready to go when they come back.
ON CHARLIE GOODE, TOM HOPPER AND LUKE WILLIAMS' INJURY RECOVERIES...
GA: I was with Chris Burton (Head of Medicine and Sports Science) on Monday and he gave the update on their recoveries. Those three have been working hard through the summer to get fit for pre-season, which is good news to hear. Pre-season is a really important time for us as a team. If each individual can have a full pre-season, then it’s massively beneficial for them because it sets them up for the rest of the season. If those lads are back, which I expect them to be, then that’s a big bonus for us.
PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE SO FAR...
Saturday, July 8th - North Ferriby United (A) - 3pm kick-off
Wednesday, July 12th - York City (A) - 7pm kick-off
Saturday, July 15th to Saturday, July 22nd - Austria pre-season tour
Wednesday, July 26th – Sunderland (H) - 7.30pm kick-off
Saturday, July 29th - Luton Town (A) - 3pm kick-off