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Interviews

Manager previews Walsall challenge

10 August 2018

Manager Nick Daws has called for an atmosphere that can help motivate the players ahead of the first home league game of the season versus Walsall on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

United head into the match in confident mood following a 2-1 away season opening victory at Coventry last weekend, and will be looking to build on that by recording back-to-back wins against the Saddlers.

Speaking about this upcoming fixture, Daws told iFollow Iron: “I expect and hope that the atmosphere on Saturday will be one that will motivate the players to try their best and get the result. There are going to be times when things are difficult and don’t go our way. 

“The importance of the supporters is massive and one that should not be forgotten. I always reiterate this in my 12thMan Notes, my programme notes and press when I can. 

“The support I have had, Andy (Dawson) has had, and the players and staff have had throughout my time here has been fantastic. I thank everybody for that.”

The Iron fell behind against Coventry last weekend but goals from recent signings Stephen Humphrys and Andy Dales turned the game around and gave the team a winning start to the season.

Fellow new additions Matthew Lund and George Thomas were named on the bench, with the former coming on during the second-half. However, the duo have now been able to complete a week of training and Daws says they’re bedding in well. 

He added: “Each and every day, the players are settling in that little more, so that can only be a positive. We have had a good week on the training ground.”

Ahead of the Walsall fixture, Daws knows what threat Dean Keates’ side will provide. 

He said: “They won’t give us anything cheaply – we will have to work hard. Dean took over at the back of end of last season and came here with his team and gave us a really tough challenge and I fully expect that to be the same again.”

The manager also provided an update on injuries ahead of Saturday, explaining: “The plan was for Rory McArdle to come back into training on Monday but that was delayed because of the birth of his second child, so I wish him, his wife and their baby boy all the best. It has probably allowed his heel to recover a little bit more. We won the game at the weekend and Charlie (Goode) and Cameron (Burgess) played pretty well. However, Rory is experienced, fit and looks after himself, so he will hopefully be in consideration.

“Funso Ojo has had a small delay in his return to full training again, which we will need to review ahead of the weekend. He had 38 minutes last week, so it wouldn’t put him in a strong enough position to start the game yet. We’ll make a considered and sensible decision with the sports science team. 

“Levi Sutton picked up a dead leg on Monday in training and he hasn’t trained since then, which makes him a doubt.

“Josh Morris came back into full training on Tuesday and he is looking really good, but he hasn’t played a single minute for us since last season, so we need to consider that.”

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