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Interviews

Alexander's team news and preview ahead of Bristol Rovers (H)

9 November 2017

Manager Graham Alexander has provided team news and previewed the home League One clash against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

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11 November 2017

In an interview with iFollow Iron, the United boss gave updates on Neal Bishop (upper body muscle injury), Conor Townsend (hamstring) and Jonathon Margetts (knee), and looked ahead to the challenge Darrell Clarke’s side will pose this weekend.

ON RETURNING TO HOME ACTION…
GA:
We’ve had three away games in three different competitions. Peterborough was the last home match and it does seem a little while ago, but it was only three weeks. We’re looking to continue on from that victory and carry on our league form, really cementing ourselves up at the top end of the table. We have a tough challenge on Saturday against Bristol Rovers, and we have to be ready for them. We want to put on a performance that puts them on the backfoot though.

ON RORY McARDLE AND CLAYTON LEWIS BEING AWAY ON INTERNATIONAL DUTY…
GA:
You go through a season and will miss players through various reasons. The best one is international duty, because it means you have good players and that your team are doing good things, and they’re getting international recognition. We’re proud of them as a club, and it’s not happened too often in Scunthorpe United’s history that two players have been away on international duty. You have to be ready to continue to be competitive without certain individuals at certain times in the season. We try to work on a basis of keeping all our players ready, be really competitive and train at the right intensity to ensure that everyone’s available and everyone can be covered for or competed with. It’s the first time we’ve missed Rory this season in the league, and we expect someone to step up and perform just as well as he has.

"We’re looking to continue on from that victory and carry on our league form, really cementing ourselves up at the top end of the table."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON MISSING CAPTAIN McARDLE…
GA:
We have a number of leaders and I always believe one individual isn’t enough to lead a group of 20+ players. You need a good core of leader types throughout the team and I believe we have that throughout the spine of the squad. Even though Rory is our captain, whenever we take to the pitch we have three or four individuals who lead that group, and they take that responsibility seriously. It’s important that whatever we do day-in, day-out on the training pitch is taken into a match scenario.

ON HAVING A FULL WEEK TO PREPARE…
GA:
It’s been nice. We need more of it to be honest. There are always aspects to improve on and if you can get good training weeks where you focus on certain topics, it’s valuable and important to any team. The biggest thing is taking it out into the match scenario. It’s important we work really conscientiously during the week and continue that on the matchday.

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📹 iFollow: Graham Alexander speaks ahead of home game against Bristol Rovers

9 November 2017

ON NEAL BISHOP…
GA:
Bish is going to take part in a little bit of training on Thursday. He’s been with the medical staff all this week, and did some work on his own on Wednesday doing general stuff. We won’t take a risk with anybody. We have to make sure whoever comes out onto that pitch is 100 per cent and ready to compete, because we have to give everything to ensure we win the game.

ON CONOR TOWNSEND…
GA:
Conor Townsend is training with us this week and is closer, but we’re not going to push him too hard if he’s not ready. He has to be 100 per cent fit and needs to have trained consistently before we put him back in, because we can’t afford to have any more setbacks in his recovery. We’ll see how he is on Thursday and make our judgments on the team later in the afternoon.

ON JONATHON MARGETTS…
GA:
Jonathon is going to be missing for a good chunk of time. It will be four months at least. It’s obviously bad news for him and us but at least we’ve got to the bottom of it now, and he can look upwards and forwards rather than continuing to wonder what’s wrong. He has a workload he needs to fulfil and a timescale to come back, but it will be a while until he’s fit and available to compete with everyone else.

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