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McCall provides latest injury news and looks ahead to cup clash

30 November 2018

Manager Stuart McCall has revealed Funso Ojo and Lewis Butroid face three-to-four weeks out of action with the hamstring injuries picked up during the past week.

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2 December 2018

There was a positive regarding Andy Dales, who came off injured in midweek against Southend, though as United prepare for Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup second round trip to take on Shrewsbury Town.

Rounding up the latest team news, McCall told iFollow Iron: “There are a couple of lads we’re hopeful might be available but we really won’t know until Saturday.

“The unfortunate news on Wednesday was that both Funso and Butty came back after scans with the same injury - a Grade 2 hamstring, which will be three or four weeks. That’s obviously not good for us.

“We’ve had a little of illness in the camp and two or three of the lads have missed training, but will hopefully be back available to travel with us on Saturday.

“We’ll have a head count this Saturday and hopefully have a few more available. 

“Dalesy came off injured against Southend but will be okay, so that’s a bonus. We obviously have Perchy (James Perch) missing through suspension too. It’s a challenge again but one we’ve really got to relish, look forward to and make sure we’re in that hat for the third round draw.”

Talking about what to expect from the Shrews under the caretaker management of Danny Coyne, he added: “Since we had that hard-fought battling 1-0 victory over them earlier in the season, they’ve not only changed their style of play but they’ve changed the formation too under Danny and have won four out of five.

“They’ve switched to a diamond, everyone seems to know where they’re at, and obviously the confidence is high with the wins they’ve had.”

As he provided some further considered thoughts on Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Southend, McCall revealed he’s received an apology from referee Trevor Kettle after Yasin Ben El-Mhanni was brought down in the penalty area during the closing stages.

He said: “As disappointed as we were, I was more angry with the start we made when we should have been on the front foot and when Southend were there vulnerable - we should have capitalised on that. 

“I think after we went down to ten men, it was a big ask, but if you look at the second-half nobody would have thought we had ten men, and we had a couple of opportunities.

“With the second goal, Josh (Morris) tried to take a quick free-kick and it didn’t work out. The shot (Sam) Mantom had was going straight to Jak (Alnwick) but it hit Charlie’s (Charlie Goode) legs and deflected over him. Straight from the kick-off, we hit the front of the bar, it came down and Novs (Lee Novak) was about to put it in, he slipped and the goalkeeper saved it on the line.

“Even in the last minute, we could have got something. I had an email on Friday from the referee, which I appreciate, saying they made a mistake and it was a penalty kick. Obviously, it wouldn’t have had a bearing on the outcome really because it was the last kick of the game, but I appreciate the honesty. We all make mistakes.

“We’ve lost two league games now - one against the league leaders (Portsmouth) where there was still some decent stuff to take out of the second half performance, which almost merited a comeback. 

“We just have to stick together and get through this. At the moment, there are too many square pegs in round holes and we’re having to play people out of position through necessity. They’re giving their all, but for the first 20-30 minutes we were edgy, nervy and hesitant the other night.

"We can’t have that on Sunday, we have to be right at it against a good Shrewsbury side and put in a strong performance like we did against Burton (in the FA Cup first round). We weren’t great football-wise but certainly, in terms of effort and desire, we had a go - that’s what we need.”

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