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Ugbo to be assessed ahead of Charlton clash

1 October 2018

Manager Stuart McCall says Ike Ugbo will be assessed and ‘given every chance’ to be fit for the home League One clash against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.

United enter the game unbeaten in seven games in all competitions and encouraged by a second clean sheet in succession against Burton Albion at the weekend.

The boss told iFollow Iron: “Training has been bright, as you’d imagine, because we’ve kept the run going with a good point at Burton, which is a tough place to go to as they’ve shown decent home form. I was a little critical of the players in the dressing room afterwards about our sloppiness and carelessness at times in possession, but when I watched the game back we did a lot of good things and defended strongly against a side who have created a lot of opportunities of late.

“Over the piece, we got a decent point away from home against a side that will be up there come the end of the season. Going forward, we just need to improve on looking after the ball in possession and that’s throughout the side.”

Midfielder Matthew Lund will be suspended for one game, missing the midweek visit of the Addicks, after picking up his fifth league booking of the season at the weekend.

“We would have freshened it up in certain areas anyway,” added McCall. “We know Lundy is out through suspension and have another couple that are doubts, but we’ll give them every chance to be available for selection.”

As touched on earlier, the manager confirmed striker Ugbo is one of those players, after he was withdrawn early in the second-half at Burton.

“He’s still a little bit sore so we’ll just monitor him over the next 24 hours and see where we go with him. Injuries sometimes come and go quickly, so we’ll give him every opportunity to be available,” he said.

McCall added Levi Sutton is now back with the club following the end of his loan spell with Harrogate Town and will be in contention for a place in the squad. 

Charlton come to Glanford Park sitting sixth in League One, after coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Luton Town at the weekend.

Strikers Lyle Taylor, formerly of the Iron, and Karlan Grant have both scored five goals apiece and McCall says the Addicks boast a number of attacking options.

Nevertheless, he’s confident in his side and will be hoping to build on the 1-0 home victory over Shrewsbury Town last time out, which gave the Iron their first home win of the season.

The boss continued: “The onus as a home team is to entertain and to win the game, and you’ll come up against certain teams that will be hard to break down, which we knew Shrewsbury would be. 

“Rochdale, in the previous home game, will always create opportunities with the way they play. Charlton at the minute score a lot of goals and look a threat. They have a squad that’s more than capable of top six come the end of the season. It’s another challenge, but one we’ll be ready for.

“We’ll have to be vigilant, defensively strong but a little bit better in possession. We need to create things and set the tempo of the game.

“If you’ve not won at home, or had a clean sheet, it can hang over you. The victory against Shrewsbury, though it was only three points, was a big win psychologically. As it was the week before at AFC Wimbledon, getting pegged back and managing to see out the game. Sometimes you have to look at what you’re against, and Burton played a certain way to stop some of our players getting on the ball. They didn’t expect us to go with the formation we went with too.

“I’m a manager that will change formations and it’ll be horses for courses, and that’s not to be smart, that’s just how we can get the best out of what we’ve got against what we perceive to be other side’s weaknesses.

“This week to have a night league match here under the lights is something to look forward to. We’re learning all the time and the lads are taking on board what we’re wanting, and now the aim is to get another three points on Tuesday night. It will be a difficult game like they all are, but we’re at home and we want the victory.”

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