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Wilcox looks ahead to Port Vale trip

28 February 2020

Russ Wilcox has previewed the away League Two game at Port Vale this weekend, and says his team head there in confident mood after two wins from their last three matches.

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29 February 2020

United have defeated Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers 1-0 respectively during the last three weeks, and there were a lot of positives to take from the second-half of the most recent game especially as Scunthorpe look to build on last week's result.

Wilcox told iFollow Iron: “The first half was scrappy and we understand that, but the conditions weren’t great and that’s how it goes sometimes. We learned from the Cambridge game (which was in between the Cheltenham and Forest Green matches, and saw United lose 2-0), where it was also scrappy but we ended up coming in 1-0 down because we’d given away a poor goal. We went in at the break with a foothold in the Forest Green match and were outstanding in the second half.

“They’ve been bright, and we’ve fed back clips from the game at the weekend, with a lot of positives and a couple of negatives. We scored a really good goal and then had two one-on-ones and could have won the game 3-0. I don’t think anybody would have had any complaints after the second-half performance."

This weekend’s opponents sit eighth in the division and Wilcox continued: “They have a terrific home record and have only lost one there all season, so we know how hard it’s going to be, but we’re in good spirits after last week. We’ve won two out of the last three games with clean sheets, so we’re in a good place at the moment.

“They’ve done really well this season and John Askey has done a good job there. They’re under the radar a little bit as well. It will be a tough game for Port Vale too though, because we’re in a good place, the lads are full of confidence, have a little spring in their step and it’s all about what we do and if we can play well and perform. I think we can certainly give Port Vale a tough game because we have some good players at this football club.”

Yann Songo’o came through the Under-23s’ 0-0 draw at Hull City in midweek fine, playing 85 minutes, and will be hoping for his first appearance for the first team since the win at Grimsby in December.

“Yann played at centre-back and came through that okay, and is available now for selection,” added Wilcox.

“There were lots of positives, and I’m pleased with the group because they performed well. Lee Turnbull (head of recruitment) and I were at the Grimsby vs Newport game but the feedback from Tony (Daws, academy manager) and Steve (Thornber, professional development phase coach) was positive. The lads worked hard, dug in and created a lot of opportunities.”

Ian Lawlor was absent last week because of a groin injury, while Levi Sutton and Harrison McGahey missed last week’s match through concussion protocol after separate knocks in training.

Updating on the pair, Wilcox said: “Ian has trained and it’s just the kicking aspect now with it being a groin injury, so we’ll look at that on Friday. Levi is fine and good to go. He’s back on the grass on Friday. Harrison is the main concern, as he had a delayed concussion as well so he’s going through the protocol. He’ll be touch and go. He’s looked a lot better in the last few days, so fingers crossed he isn’t too far away.”

Junior Brown will continue to miss out this weekend, as he continues his return to full training after a medial ligament injury.

Wilcox said: “He’s in full training, though the Doncaster Under-23s game on Monday might come too soon for him. It’s just the contact side now with it being a knee injury, but he’s looked good in training."

See much more from Russ Wilcox and Rory Watson on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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