Iron manager Stuart McCall says there are two fresh injury worries ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Southend United but his team will just ‘get on with it’ as they look to get three valuable League One points at Roots Hall.
Although his side were defeated 2-1, the United boss took some plus points from the second-half display against league leaders Portsmouth at the weekend, as they pulled one back through Lee Novak and could have netted an equaliser.
McCall told iFollow Iron: “There were positives to take out of it, and you have to take positives from any result, but not false ones. The spirit and desire to stick together was excellent against a top of the table side who have a terrific away record.
“One of our most influential players (Funso Ojo) came off after 10 minutes and then the left-back (Cameron Borthwick-Jackson) had to come off at half-time and you’re looking for a bit of leadership. We came out, the first 15 minutes were quiet from both sides and then we got a goal out of nothing which spurred us on and we had a really good go. Yes, we can play better but the spirit and commitment was there.
“Unfortunately, since Saturday, we have two more injuries ahead of Tuesday’s trip. It’s a challenge at this moment in time with all the injuries we’ve been getting and probably the worst since I’ve been a manager but they’re just unfortunate ones – contact injuries or like Ryan (Colclough) where there was nobody near him and his knee gave way.
“On the other hand, Southend are having an unfortunate run (with injuries) themselves, have some key players missing as well, and are on a little bit of a sticky run. We’ll take confidence from the recent performances and go down there looking to get the win and start climbing the table.
“They’ve lost four on the bounce in the league but Chris (Powell) has had a lot to put up with down there, with some key players injured. We have to go down there and try to play on that, start the game well, be positive and take the game to them if we can. It will be a different type of game, and Southend have played a few different formations. We have to take the positive aspects from the last few weeks into the game and really go for it from the first whistle.
“You can look downwards and think we’re not far off the bottom four, but likewise a couple of wins can take you into the top ten. We will be positive, look forward to the game and hopefully come back with a positive result.”
McCall provided an update on the progress of Ojo and Borthwick-Jackson since the weekend.
He said: “They’ve both gone for scans. Funso’s is a recurrence of his hamstring injury, although it’s not a plain hamstring and is a muscle one, which is very unusual and rare after his first scan. He had two sets of 90 minutes and was terrific at Bristol, so for it to re-emerge is a bit peculiar to be honest. He trained all last week and then on Thursday felt a little bit of tightness, but was okay on Friday and Saturday before the game. CBJ’s is just an impact injury so we await the results of the scan.
“Since Saturday, two more lads are unable to travel with us as well. We are depleted in numbers, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s not an excuse as Southend are in the same boat. We have to get on with it and do the best we can.”
Josh Morris returned to the substitutes’ bench at the weekend following five weeks out with a broken jaw, but McCall didn’t think the circumstances were right to bring him on.
When asked whether he’d have a chance of figuring against the Shrimpers, he said: “It’s maybe a case of needs must and we’ll look at what we have available. Ideally, we’d like to dripfeed Josh back into it but he’s trained well again on Monday and we’ll look at who we have available. Josh will certainly travel with us, that’s for sure. He’s totally pain free now and all his checks have come back clear.”
The game comes soon after Saturday’s but the long midweek trip doesn’t faze McCall, who added: “It’s tougher for the fans who are going down there, that’s for sure. We’ll set off early morning, and check into a hotel in the afternoon. The lads will get a couple of hours’ sleep and will go for a walk and get a bite to eat. It’s part and parcel, and we’ll get on with it.”
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