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Cox previews Watford away friendly and updates on injuries

28 August 2020

Previewing the behind-closed-doors pre-season trip to Championship side Watford (3pm kick-off on Saturday), first team manager Neil Cox is looking forward to what should be a tough test at Vicarage Road.

He told iFollow Iron: "We were meant to play someone else but the game got cancelled so this came at short notice. We spoke to Watford and they agreed it. I'm looking forward to it, having played there for five years, and I think they'll have a strong side having just dropped out of the Premier League and under new management.

"I've said to the boys there's nothing to lose, we go and get fitness and take on a Championship side, working on what we've been doing, and then come back and prepare for the season starting next week. I'm looking forward to the challenge. It gives people the chance to fight for the shirt for next week (versus Port Vale in the Carabao Cup first round).

"We'll have a look at one or two things, and we've got a trialist as well who's going to play, so we'll have a good look at him."

Cox also provided an injury update on Andy Dales and Olufela Olomola, who both came off during the first-half of the behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

He said: "Dalesy is fine and took a back spasm so we left him out for a couple of days.

"Fela has injured his hamstring and will be out for eight-to-ten weeks, which is disappointing because he's been excellent since I came to the club. He's come in with a smile on his face, and his attitude around the camp has been brilliant. That's what I want, it's about everybody coming in, working hard and being together."

Speaking to the media on Friday, Cox confirmed striker Kevin van Veen could be out until November with the knee injury reported earlier this week.

"Hopefully we can get him back sooner rather than later, but we just have to be careful with him," he said.

He also added that central defender Emmanuel Onariase has undergone the hernia operation he needed, which was reported earlier in the week.

Cox also provided an update on Jordan Clarke and Harrison McGahey, who haven't been involved in any of the pre-season matches so far.

"Jordan has had a little calf problem, and is another one we can't afford to push too much. He joined in training today. Harrison also had a calf issue and is back in training but won't play this week, or next week. He's another boy we need to get super fit before he's ready to play," added Cox.


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