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Interviews

Hurst and Doig react to friendly double-header

13 July 2019

Manager Paul Hurst and assistant manager Chris Doig provided their reaction following the respective 2-0 and 4-0 wins at Guiseley AFC and Bottesford Town on Saturday.

Lee Novak and John McAtee scored as the Iron emerged victorious at Nethermoor Park under the watchful eye of Hurst in the first of those fixtures, and he was delighted to get further game time into the players in what was their second game of pre-season.

He told iFollow Iron: “We didn’t quite have enough to change everybody. There are certain positions we kept on where we think they can get through 90 minutes and they can take that as a positive that they’re potentially ahead of some of the others.

“Overall, I’m pleased with the run-out. The pitch was a bit dry and I was hoping for some rain at one part because it did slow the game down a little bit at times, but overall we kept the ball well. One of the most pleasing aspects of the performance was the forward runs we had, and I think had we been a little bit more clinical we could have had a few more goals, which we need when we face better teams.

“The organisation was good and we looked pretty good most of the time. We’re a work in progress, and for some lads it’s a case of getting used to different roles and responsibilities.

“You need to have forward runs and, speaking to some people, it seems that wasn’t there much last season. We had a lot of possession and by keeping it that helps limit the opposition to very few chances.

“Novs’ goal came from a good move, and John McAtee finished his goal very well. It was a good performance from him individually in terms of taking things on that we’ve spoken to him about long before coming here really. He’s made a good impression with the senior players, and had a couple of days in Spain. He’s certainly set off on the right footing. He knows me and Chris (Doig) better than anyone at the minute and knows we need to keep those standards.”

Doig oversaw the other Iron side’s 4-0 victory at Birkdale Park, and saw Olufela Olomola, Adam Hammill and Kyle Wootton (two) notch during a dominant first-half display.

He said: “In the first-half they did what we asked for really. It was more looking into what we do without the ball in terms of closing down and pressing.

“There was a good work ethic and intensity to the first-half. The second-half wasn’t the same, and dropped off. They (Bottesford) changed the way they played, making it more difficult for us, and the tempo from the game dropped out. We then made all the substitutions and that was that.

“The majority of lads have got more minutes into their legs than what they’ve had so far, and the Under-23s came on and got game time as well as Charlie (Barks) from the youth team as well.

“Overall, it was a worthwhile exercise all around. There are a lot of things to work on, but there were promising signs.

“It’s important to have local links (playing games such as this), and hopefully we’ve helped them out today with a decent crowd and they’ve got something from it.”

Hurst comtinued: “The majority of the lads have had up to around 70 minutes now, and the next step is 90 minutes in terms of building that match fitness up.

“They were both strong squads, and both teams that started are ones you could realistically put out in the league games. From that point of view, it’s pleasing.”

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