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Alexander looks to reward effort with victory

2 March 2018

Ahead of the home game against Oldham, Iron manager Graham Alexander has praised the club’s groundstaff and volunteers who offered their support to clear the pitch and surrounding areas of snow.

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2 March 2018

United face the Latics at Glanford Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off) and head into the match looking to bounce back from last weekend’s last gasp disappointment in the away draw at Bristol Rovers.

Alexander spoke to iFollow Iron ahead of the match, and also provided an update on the injury situation.

GA: We’re delighted that we’re getting this extra help, because it’s needed. To be fair to the groundstaff, they’ve worked extremely hard over the last few days. They must have spent three-and-a-half hours yesterday just clearing a quarter of the training pitch so we could get a training session on. It’s a fantastic effort from them and then today we want to clear the whole pitch at Glanford Park, and we’ve needed extra help for that. We’re delighted people have volunteered to come down and help us out, and try to get this game on, because we want to play it and we’re going to need outside help to make it happen. This is much needed at a club of our size. We need all the help we can get from the outside community. As soon as we put the beacon of help out, it came, and people have been here since 8am this morning helping to clear the pitch so we’re delighted. Hopefully we can reward that effort with a good performance on Saturday, and a victory.

GA: It’s been difficult, we’ve had a few players missing who couldn’t make it in from where they live on Thursday. It was difficult for them to get out of their area. The motorway is shut in various places, but I don’t think we’re the only ones affected by it. What we’ve shown is a proactive mentality to make it happen, and make the best of the situation. That’s what we did on Thursday, the training session was very upbeat and positive. We reminded the players of the effort the groundstaff put in to enable us to train - we told them to make the day count, and that’s what they did. You have to have a positive mindset, approach it in the right way and make sure you don’t make any excuses for yourself. We’re going to have a final session at around midday (on Friday) to clarify what we need to do in the game.

GA: They’ve certainly got talent within their ranks. They have power and pace up front, and some real good ball players in midfield. We know the situation they’re in. They want to win the game as much as we do for their own reasons. For me, every week is a challenge but we have to go about it as we have done the last few games, and try to turn the draws into wins. I think we’ve been the dominant team in the last two or three games but we feel we’ve identified where we need to improve. We’ve worked on that and spoke about it this week. If we do that, we give ourselves the best chance of getting the three points.

GA: They’re closer so we’ll see how they are. There were a couple of issues earlier in the week with a couple of players but they seem to have come through that. They’re fit for Saturday. We’re just waiting to see if we can add Novs and Ivan to the squad for the game. Marnick Vermijl is closer but not available. Jordan Clarke is progressing too and making good strides, but neither are available for this weekend so we’ll see how they go over the next couple of weeks. I think Jordan is around the same marker point as Marnick so we might have two right-backs come back at the same time! He’s made great progression, as expected, but we know we’re still not fully clear. He hasn’t trained with us yet, but physically he’s doing a lot of work and has got to a good speed in his sprints and so forth. It’s down to the football work now and giving him confidence in his own mind that he’s overcome the injury. That’s the final hurdle. That’ll be a massive positive for us, getting both of those players back.

GA: Jonno has had a real difficult time with injuries. He went down for a routine check-up with the specialists and they had to operate again on his knee, so it’s a massive blow for him to be setback so far. He’s worked extremely hard to overcome and do the rehab from his last operation. He’s now back to the starting point but unfortunately that can happen. We talk about the other lads coming back from injuries. You don’t take it for granted that just because they’ve got so far, they’re fully clear. You have to tick all the boxes before they’re back fit. Unfortunately Jonna has slipped back and we’ll just have to be patient with him and he’ll need to get his head around what he needs to do over the next few months to get back to fitness. He’s in good hands with the medical staff we have here. Hopefully, when he does come back, he’ll come back stronger.

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