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Interviews

Team news and views from Neil Cox ahead of hosting Barrow

14 December 2020

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s home league encounter, first team manager Neil Cox is looking for a positive reaction from his side following the weekend’s defeat.

Southend aside, the Iron have put on good performances in recent weeks and created a lot of chances and that’s something the United boss is looking to get back into the team this Tuesday.

“We’re still disappointed about the weekend, but we can’t do anything about it now,” he said, talking to iFollow Iron. 

“We’ve done some analysis work and worked hard on the training ground ahead of a difficult game. They’ve just lost their manager, so we don’t know how they will set up, who will be in charge. It’s about what we do on the night to try to get back to winning ways.”

Barrow come into the game off the back of a 4-2 away defeat at Crawley Town, a result that ended David Dunn’s tenure in charge of the Bluebirds. 

Speaking about the opposition, Cox continued: “They’ve scored goals and seem to be good going forward, but they seem to have conceded a lot of goals, especially lately. 

“They conceded four at the weekend in a difficult game at Crawley. We have to start the game properly, as we did for the first 20-25 on Saturday, although without creating much.

“We have to get back to what we’ve been doing well for the last six games before the last one - play forward, play quickly, get balls and bodies into the box and pick up second balls. We have to take risks in the final third and go at players. Over the last few weeks, we’ve done that and that’s why we’ve created chances and scored goals.

“If I take anything away from Saturday, our delivery wasn’t the best, so we have to work on that, and we have done. We have to do our job on the night and if we can get three points it’ll put us in a higher position in the league getting ready for a busy Christmas period.”

It wasn’t just a defeat the Iron came out of the game with at the weekend, with a number of players picking up knocks following a busy period of fixtures.

“There are a few knocks from the weekend,” he said.

“Mase (Mason O’Malley) came in this morning and hasn’t been able to train. Manny (Onariase) didn’t train either as he’s had a bit of an upset stomach from Saturday, so that’s a bit of a worry. Gilly (Alex Gilliead) came off at the weekend and he’s a bit tender in places, Macca (John McAtee) has trained this morning, but not at 100 per cent, so he’s another we have to look at.

“Jake Taylor has got a sore Achilles, so we are getting down to the bare bones. We have some youngsters in the wings waiting for their chance. I haven’t done the squad yet, but we will come in on Tuesday and see who is fit and we will go from there.

“There are a few that won’t be available for this week, but hopefully they’ll be back for Saturday. We’re not working too hard on the training ground, because we need to be careful. We’ve had a lot of trips and a lot of games.”

Elsewhere, Jordan Clarke will be welcomed back into the squad after being rested at the weekend, while Harrison McGahey looks to be out until mid-January.

“Harrison looks like he will be out for three-to-four weeks,” he stated.

“We’re looking at old scar tissue at the moment which probably has come from playing too many games in a short period of time. The Colchester game was one game too many. It’s the boys who missed pre-season who we have to be careful with.

“Jordan trained on Monday, so he comes back into the squad. Every time he plays, he does a great job for us. He’s not fully fit and we have to be careful with him as we don’t want to lose him. We have to keep him fresh, but he’s looking fitter and stronger. 

“He’s one who has to manage himself and at times he’s not happy when he has to be rested, but we have to make sure he gets through the whole season. If he has to to play three or four games and then get left out for one, then that’s what we’ll have to do.”

See much more from Neil Cox and Jordan Clarke ahead of the game on iFollow Iron. Click here to subscribe.


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