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Neil Cox on taking charge of his first #DerbyDay fixture

17 December 2020

First team manager Neil Cox is looking forward to taking charge of the Iron for his first #DerbyDay this weekend as the side make the trip to Blundell Park.

United come into the match off the back of a stoppage time winner against Barrow in midweek and will be looking to build on that result and make it back-to-back wins.

“I can’t wait for it to get started,” he said, speaking to iFollow Iron.

“Being a local boy, managing your hometown club, it was one of the first games I looked for. Now we’re here, we are raring to go. Everyone who was nearing full fitness is fit, so it looks as though we’ll have a strong squad to pick from. I’m really looking forward to it personally as well.

“I’m really excited and it’s always a game I’ve watched as a young local boy. I didn’t play in one for Scunthorpe, but I am now getting the chance to manage my team against Grimsby in a local derby. It’s just a shame there’ll be no crowd as the atmosphere would have been electric. We go there in good form, in good confidence and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

No crowd might take the edge off the occasion, in terms of the lack of atmosphere that you’d expect in a derby, but the Scunthorpe boss insists his players know what is at stake, despite there being nobody there to see it.

“The players know,” he stated.

“We need to be relaxed on the day and not get too worked up about it and make sure we have controlled aggression, rather than doing anything stupid and letting everyone down. We’ve got to put in a professional performance and do the right things.

“A lot of the games are decided with a rash decision that somebody makes. We’ve got be professional in our job and do the right things, play our way and worry about what we’ve got to do and nobody else.

“It’s a big loss to have no fans and it’s such a shame that the gates won’t be opened for this one. Hopefully we can get the fans in sooner rather than later. Even as an away team, just having people in there gives a little bit more purpose to the game.”

Mason O’Malley and Jake Taylor were among the missing players in midweek, but both come back into contention in this match, although Harrison McGahey still misses out, as the manager explains: “Mase came back into the building this morning after we gave him a couple of days off. He’s trained, as has Jake Taylor after he had a sore achilles in the week.

“We’re know about Kev (van Veen), who has gone home for a short break, and we’re only really missing H (Harrison McGahey). He’s not fit yet, but should be back soon, which is good news. We’re hoping to get him back early in the New Year.

“Junior (Brown) is back on the training ground which is brilliant new, because we thought he’d be another six-or-seven weeks. He’s not ready to join in yet, but he’s back on training ground and it was a bit of a shock to us. Everything seemed to go right and Junior did say he’s a quick healer.

“We have to be careful with him because he missed pre-season and I had to throw him in to get fit. There are positive signs.

“Fin Shrimpton went over on his ankle last week in training and it’s really swollen. He was due to go back out on loan, which we need him to do. He’s done really well (at Frickley) and we’ve got Under-23s games coming up where we want to have a look at some players, including some in the youth team.”

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