Captain and defender Jordan Clarke is hoping to continue to build up his match fitness with more minutes in Tuesday’s home league encounter against Barrow.
The 29-year-old was rested at the weekend after playing three games in a week for the first time since January, but is looking forward to trying to cement his place in the team going forward after feeling no ill-effects from his most recent outings.
Speaking to iFollow Iron ahead of the game, he said: “I’m feeling good and I can’t wait to play.
“It has been good to get back out there. It’d take anyone some period of time to get fitness levels up after not playing for so long, but especially in professional football at this stage of the season with other players already at that level.
“I’ve had to use a bit of experience to get myself through games. The main aim has been to try and get clean sheets and three points and I feel like we’ve been solid in the games that I’ve played and I’ve felt solid too. We’re in a much better space that what we were.”
United host Barrow on Tuesday evening, the second of a run of fixtures against opposition currently before Scunthorpe in the table.
Clarke drew on the positive performances in recent weeks, prior to the weekend, and looks to emulate that form: “Every game is important, especially after the start to the season that we’ve had.
“It feels like a tide is turning and for us we are focusing on it game-by-game. That’s how I’ve looked at it.”
Having not played back-to-back games since the start of 2020, Clarke is determined to end the year consistently playing. He was out of the side at the weekend following a run of three games in a week, but insists he would be happy to be in the team for a longer stretch, should he be selected.
“When you haven’t played in nearly a year, you can pick up little niggles,” he stated.
“The only problem I’ve had after the past three games is tired legs. I understand from a medical point of view that we have to take that precaution. I want to play every game but I do understand the situation and if it helps me in the long run, I’m more than happy to do that.
“My aim is to play as many games as possible and I want to have a good record come the end of the season - games played to clean sheet ratio and also games played to wins that we’ve had. That’s what I am most proud of and want to be most proud of come the end of the season. If we do that, then the team is only going to be in a better position.”
See much more from Jordan Clarke and Neil Cox in the build-up to the game on iFollow Iron. Click here to subscribe.