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Chris Doig's team news and views ahead of Pompey Trophy clash

20 January 2020

Assistant manager Chris Doig says the Iron will wait to see if Kevin van Veen comes through training on Monday, which will determine whether he travels down to Portsmouth for the game on Tuesday.

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19 January 2020

The Dutch striker has been absent since being withdrawn at half-time in round three against Manchester City U21s with a dead leg, but will be eager to return for a competition in which he’s scored five goals this season and fresh from being named player of the third round on Monday morning.

Speaking to iFollow Iron, Doig said: “I saw he got the award and had a little chuckle - not bad for 45 minutes! I thought he played really well and scored two fantastic goals. Like every player, he will want to play every game regardless of what competition it’s in.

“Kevin will be joining in the session on Monday and we’ll see how he is. Hopefully he comes through that unscathed and if he does, he will travel to Portsmouth.”

The Iron have 13 first team players available to travel to Fratton Park - 14 if the Dutchman makes it through training - with Lee Novak one of those available, as the forward is only suspended in the league.

Doig added: “Rory McArdle (hamstring) won’t be involved. He will be doing a little bit on the grass on Monday, so he’s making progress, but he’s nowhere near ready to be involved tomorrow and probably will be a doubt. As it stands, we have 13 players travelling, including John McAtee and Jacob Bedeau, 14 if Kevin makes it. The rest will be made up of Under-23 lads and Tom Collins, the youth team goalkeeper.

“Yann (Songo’o) is ahead of schedule. He’s back on the grass on a non-contact basis. He’s not back in full training yet, but he’s certainly making progress. I would think probably in the next one-to-two weeks, Yann will come back into contention.

“We’re down to bare bones, but we get on with it. I’m confident whatever team we put out will be good enough to compete and give Portsmouth a game and hopefully we perform well enough on the night to win the game.”

United couldn’t have been dealt a tougher draw in the quarter-final stages. In Portsmouth, the Iron face the holders, the highest ranked team left in the competition and coupling that with a long trip down south, Doig knows United will need to be at their best to progress to the semi-finals.

He said: “We’ve said from the very beginning, it’s a competition we want to do well in. For us, it’s always been a competition we’ve done well in in the past. It’s another game and whenever there is a game, we want to win it.

“I can understand that, now we’re into the quarter-finals, teams may start taking it a little more seriously but for us, it has been from the very beginning. We want to win, perform well and try to get to the next stage.

“Portsmouth are a very strong team and they’re doing really well, picking up over the last couple of months. They’re performing very well in League One. Arguably, it was the most difficult draw that we could get, but if we’re going to win the competition we might have had to play them eventually anyway. It’s a good ground to go and play at, it’s a good team to play against, so let’s go and compete against them and see how we do.”

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