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Wilcox looks ahead to Swindon trip

14 February 2020

Russ Wilcox spoke to iFollow Iron on Thursday as he previewed the away game at league leaders Swindon Town this weekend.

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14 February 2020

The game comes after chairman Peter Swann confirmed the Under-23s manager will take charge of the team alongside Kevin Pressman, Lee Turnbull and Paul Musselwhite for the rest of the season.

Wilcox said: “I’m really pleased for his support, and now we can get back to business with 13 games left and 10 weeks of the season. We need to try and pick up some wins.

“I’m driven and want to do well for the football club. It’s a pressure situation managing any club, with a lot of things riding on it and you need to do well for everybody involved. I’m more experienced than last time, and have good experienced staff with me. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m pleased he spoke about the development of the young players too. Obviously, I’m Under-23s manager as well, and juggling both jobs at the moment, so it’ll be nice if we can develop and get more players from that side in the team.

“We’ve done well in that regard, with John McAtee and Jacob Bedeau getting into the first team, and hopefully we can get more in as well.”

He added: “I’ve had the group for two weeks and I know what they’re about now, while they’ll know what I’m about also. At least now we can plan knowing that me, Kev, Lee and Mussy are in charge until the end of the season.”

This Saturday’s game sees United take on the table-toppers, who have set the pace for the division since the start of the season when they defeated the Iron 2-0 at the Sands Venue Stadium.

Wilcox said: “It’s a really tough one. They’re flying and their home form is outstanding so we need to put a gameplan together to be solid first and foremost, without losing that attacking threat as well.

“We know all about (Swindon striker) Eoin Doyle from his Chesterfield days, and they have good players all over the pitch – that’s why they’re top of the league. They’ve been lucky with injuries too, having a consistent squad to select from, but you won’t get many tougher tests in this league than them.

“It’s a nice stadium. Hopefully the pitch will be in good condition and we’ll go there expecting as a group to do well. We have to make sure we do things right and hopefully we’ll bring back some points for the fans.

“You never know in football. Anybody can beat anybody in League Two. Swindon have been very consistent but they’ve still had eight defeats. We’ll give it our best shot, and put a squad out that’s hungry and ready to go for the challenge.”

The game sees Scunthorpe looking to bounce back from a 2-0 home defeat to Cambridge United in midweek.

He continued: “Tuesday was disappointing and I’m not hiding away from that fact. After a terrific performance against Cheltenham, you’re thinking ‘go on lads, let’s get back-to-back wins and six points on the board’ but these things happen in football. We have to brush ourselves down and go again.

“We have a few bumps and bruises from Tuesday but we’ll assess those on Thursday and move forward.”

The game could come too soon for defender Rory McArdle and midfielder Yann Songo’o though, as they look to step up their recoveries from hamstring and knee injuries.

Wilcox added: “They have a bit more training under their belts but it’s a tough one at the moment. We couldn’t get them match time with Monday’s Under-23s game (at Hull) called off but that’s how it is and we’ll deal with it.”

He was pleased to see Jordan Hallam return for the Under-23s in Thursday’s game at West Bromwich Albion though, while adding an update on midfielder Regan Slater, who has been undergoing rehabilitation at Sheffield United on an ankle injury that’s ruled him out since early November.

“Jordy's not been able to get going, but hopefully everything is behind him now and he can get a good 45 minutes against West Brom and then build from there,” he said on Thursday morning.

“Regan is back on grass at Sheffield United so fingers crossed in a few weeks’ time he rejoins us. I thought he did really well early season and he’ll add to the group.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox, Abo Eisa and Ben Liddle on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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