“There was almost a sense of relief rather than being overjoyed. We won with ten men in the end and were just pleased for them,” said manager Paul Hurst as he assessed the 2-1 Leasing.com Trophy group stage win at Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.
A brace from Kevin van Veen helped give United their first win of the season in all competitions, and Hurst told iFollow Iron afterwards: “It’s pleasing just to win a game. That was the objective coming here. I want them to win any game and get that feeling back, sending the fans home happy. There were more here tonight than I thought there might have been, so I’m glad they saw a couple of goals and a victory.
“It took us a little while to get going, and then we had a good spell. We didn’t start the second half well enough and eventually got on top of the game. It looked as though we were going to see it out relatively comfortable until the red card, which I’m at a loss (to explain) really. One of their lads flew into one of ours earlier and Perchy’s tackle was certainly no worse.”
Talking about van Veen’s impact on his first start of the season, Hurst added: “I think he worked hard at times. Overall, he hasn’t had loads of training. He tired towards the end and will feel that tomorrow I’m sure. I know he can score goals like the ones he did tonight, but it’s a case of what he’s going to give when he hasn’t got the ball. Tonight, he showed a willingness to work hard, to run and get hold of it. He can be pleased with his performance. If you expect to be involved and in the team, you can’t play well once in four or five games. Kev hasn’t had too many opportunities yet but if he shows that sort of performance then I’m sure there will be more chances for him.”
The boss continued: “Some performances were good while some highlighted where some are at currently, on the back of what wasn’t a bad performance at home (against Carlisle on Saturday). Because we lost at the weekend, that changes people’s perceptions. Scorelines influence people’s thoughts and actions, but there was a lot that was good last weekend and it was just missing that final bit.
“We’ll look at it and see how everyone is on Thursday before decisions on the team for the weekend.”
Talking about injuries, Hurst said Yann Songo’o would be fine after requiring a bandage for his head in the first-half and playing on. He also explained an injury in the warm-up for teenage midfielder Joey Dawson and where Andy Butler is at ahead of Mansfield Town away on Saturday after coming off injured last weekend.
“(Songo’o) is just a cut which needed bandaging. Joey Dawson suffered an injury in the warm-up so although he was on the teamsheet, he was never on the bench in terms of being able to take any part in the game. It was something around his knee but hopefully nothing too serious.
“The idea is (Andy Butler will) be back out on the training pitch on Thursday. He’s doing some work with Michael (McBride, head of medical services) on Wednesday but fingers crossed that all goes to plan.”
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