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Hurst previews Blackpool challenge

27 November 2019

Manager Paul Hurst spoke to iFollow Iron ahead of the away Trophy second round game at Blackpool on Wednesday night.

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27 November 2019

The boss expects a tough test against the League One side but says his players are looking forward to the prospect of taking on Simon Grayson’s team, as they look to put in a similar performance to the one against Sunderland in the same tournament two weeks prior.

Hurst said: “Blackpool are a club that have certainly had difficulties in recent times but things have changed over there now and there’s a lot more optimism. I think the fans feel like they’ve got the club back, and Simon Grayson has gone in there, who is used to winning promotions with clubs, and will be looking to do that with Blackpool. That’s their aim and they already have a very good squad together there. They’ll probably invest in January as well but in the meantime whatever side Simon decides to put out, whether it’s the subs or the team they played at Ipswich at the weekend, it’ll be a tough task.

“That said, a lot of our players – if not all of them – have played in League One at some point, whether that’s last year or for many years before. I’m sure a lot of those still believe they can play at that level, so it’s an opportunity as a group and individually to show they can compete with what is a good team currently in that division.”

Scunthorpe come into the game on the back of a 2-1 home win over Port Vale, which extended their winning run to three matches in all competitions.

The boss continued: “The motivation has to be to try and get through, try to win and keep the performance levels going. If we put in a similar performance to what we’ve done recently, then we give ourselves a chance. There are never any guarantees but we’ll go there to be competitive.

“From Saturday, the lads have come through unscathed. The only one that will be missing is Jamie Proctor, due to being cup tied, but we also have others lads that are perhaps ready for the game and chomping at the bit. I’ll make a decision on the team and all I can say is whichever one we decide to go with will be with the intention of trying to get through.

“It’s a bit of a juggling act looking at the group as a whole and we’ve put a plan in place to try and ensure everyone’s getting what they need.

“Regan Slater (ankle injury) is one who’s still a little while away though, but we’ve had some lads returning to training and they’ll filter in at different points and different levels. We’re hoping, prior to the Forest Green game (on December 7th), to have a bigger squad to select from.

“I told the players on Tuesday morning that the importance of the squad will come out over that festive period. We’ve got four games in next to no time and that’s a big ask to put the same team out on each occasion. We’re looking ahead to make sure everyone’s ready. We’ll then attack the games in the league but hopefully have another one to look forward to in the Trophy in January as well.”

See much more from Paul Hurst and Lee Novak on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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