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McCall on the five new arrivals

4 January 2019


McCall on the five new arrivals

4 January 2019

Scunthorpe manager Stuart McCall has been providing his reaction to the five new signings made in the space of 48 hours, as United showed their intent at the start of the January transfer window.

Kevin van Veen, Tony McMahon, Adam Hammill, Byron Webster and Harrison McGahey all signed for the club as United get ready to take on Coventry City this Saturday and look to climb away from the relegation zone and up the table with 20 league matches remaining.

McCall told iFollow Iron: “We’re delighted to get a lot of players early in the window, which is great credit to the Chairman, Jim (Rodwell, Chief Executive), Lee (Turnbull, Head of Recruitment) and the staff. I’m delighted with all the signings naturally. They’re different characters and we’ve needed a little extra know-how, experience and leadership. We’ve been so unfortunate as you know with key injuries that we’ve had to deal with, but there are no excuses now. The Chairman has backed the club and been positive in the meetings with the players, as I have, because we share the same ambitions and want to get this club back up and running. First and foremost, it’s getting away from where we are in the table, and then to start looking upwards. On the football side of it, the last two victories have been huge, but we’ve got to kick on now.”

He’s always a threat. A strong, powerful forward who is good technically. I’ve said to him, he’s coming back and it’s not a case of coming back to your comfort zone, but coming back to be better than he was before. He has the ability and qualities to be one of the best players in this league and that’s what we need from him. He knows that and I think his mindset is very positive, which is what we need. He can play in a variety of positions and is technically very good, but also quick. He has to work hard to get in the side and stay in it, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to the challenge. He’s one player that can create and score, and that’s what we need. In the last couple of days of training, his finishing has been excellent – left and right foot, and also with his head. Kev’s in a good place, is delighted to be back and I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome.

Funnily enough, when I first came in at Scunny, Tony was on at me asking if there any chance of coming in. At the time, we had Jordan (Clarke) fit and Perchy (James Perch) was brought to be a full-back-come-midfielder. However, now Jordan’s injured, it’s left a gap. Oxford were happy to let Tony get back up north to be nearer his family and he’s one I know really well. He has good experience at this level, is a good talker and knows the game. He’ll be a good addition, that’s for sure.

In training yesterday, he scored one from his own half and one from just over the halfway line. Even in the couple of days that he has been in with us, he’s shown great quality. He’s got 15-20 games under his belt in Scotland, and is someone who knows the game. He has great experience and also great ability. We’ve lacked creativity with Ryan (Colclough) and Josh’s (Josh Morris) injuries and he certainly brings that.

He is a leader. I’ve spoken to people about him and I remember him as part of the Millwall side that knocked both Scunthorpe and Bradford out of the play-offs in 2017, being a key figure for them in a promotion season. He knows the game, is experienced and a leader in the changing room and on the park. He’s a good talker and wants to be here. He’s desperate to get involved and play football. He sees it as a fresh challenge and we’re delighted to have him.

We looked at him when I was at Bradford a couple of seasons ago and put a bid in but didn’t get him. I know the Chairman has monitored his career and kept close tabs on Harrison. Lee Turnbull knew him from Sheffield United and he has pace. Even though he’s 23, he has a lot of appearances under his belt. He knows the position, knows the game and brings something different to the defence in that he’s very quick. He’ll be desperate to get himself in the side, but we’re on the back of two clean sheets. We needed competition for places and we certainly have that now.

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