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Neil Cox provides his thoughts following Leyton Orient home win

5 December 2020

First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side won 2-0 at home against Leyton Orient.

Goals from Ryan Loft and Alfie Beestin gave the Iron their first home win since the end of September.

Cox said: “Today’s win was very pleasing. We didn’t get off to a great start as we were a bit leggy from Tuesday night and we knew it was going to be difficult but after the penalty save, I thought we had the better chances.

“I think we had four shots on goal, two goals and a good save from the goalkeeper in the second half when Eisa played a great ball to McAtee. I thought it was a great team performance at home to follow up a great performance on Tuesday night.”

Reflecting further on the game, he said: “I think the penalty save kicked us into action. I wasn’t too sure it was a penalty, to be honest. I think we've had some soft ones given against us and not had many.

"When Mark (Howard) made the save we livened up a bit and we went on strong from there. I thought every player that started and came on put a good shift in for the team.

“We were the better team in the second half even though we didn’t have much of the ball. We tried to counter-attack yet again and people might think it's negative, but I need to get some points on the board.”

Ryan Loft made it two goals in two to add to his two assists over the last six games. Speaking on the impact the forward is making, the manager said: “Since Lofty has come back from his break in isolation, we’ve seen a bit of a spark in him. He had that little bit of a rest and he wins the ball back for us, a little bit of good play and Mason put a good delivery in for him.

“We’ve been working on him getting into the six-yard box and a great finish, he deserves the two goals in two games.

“But his work rate for the team he’s a big boy, he’s only young. He’s going to get better; we have to be patient with him but I think he’s going to get a bit of confidence from this again.”

Commenting on Alfie Beestin, who scored his first goal at the club, he said: “He’s settled in and you always need that second goal. They had a lot of the ball in the second half, but I can’t remember if they hurt us with anything.

“They had a couple of set-pieces which we defended well. We had to keep a clean sheet to win the game and then when Beestin comes in and slots one in with a bit of calmness to it and it hit the back of the net, we go on to win 2-0.”

Speaking about the recent run of performances, he continued: “I think it’s a fantastic win for us and after Tuesday night we didn’t want to let ourselves down. We knew we were going to be tired but we went for it and subs came on and did a good job.

“It’s about the squad getting fitter and stronger and a little bit of belief now. We go again Tuesday and we have a look at who’s fit and put a team on the pitch. We try to win again.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s home game against Colchester United (7pm kick-off), he added: “There are a lot of tired bodies. There are a lot of lads who are struggling so we have to have a look at the squad which I’ll put out and get ready to go.

“I can’t afford, with 32 games left, to get long-term injuries and this is usually the time of year where every club will struggle. I have to be careful but it's going to be a positive decision that I make.

“You’ve got to protect players, there’s no point me putting somebody out who’s going to miss six weeks. I’ve got a few people who are in the danger zone with hamstrings and thighs and it’s my job, along with the physio department, to have a look at people and see how we go.”

Discussing Kevin van Veen, who was absent from the squad but working his way back to fitness, the manager said: “He needs to get himself fit. We’re getting there slowly with him but he’s been on the training pitch which has been excellent.

“We didn’t have to rush him today as I was going with the same team. At the moment it's better him getting a full training session in and have a look for him for maybe next Saturday or even Tuesday.

“As I said with 32 games left, I can’t afford to have Kev come on for two games and miss another six. He needs to be ready to go for another 32 games.”

See much more from Neil Cox and Alfie Beestin on iFollow Iron. Click here to subscribe.

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