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Hurst reflects on Trophy progression

8 January 2020

Manager Paul Hurst spoke to iFollow Iron after his side reached the quarter-finals of the Trophy with a 3-1 home victory over Manchester City U21s at the Sands Venue Stadium on Wednesday night.

Kevin van Veen scored a stylish brace, with Matthew Lund also finishing a good team move, as the hosts went in 3-0 up at the interval.

The visitors pulled a goal back through Tommy Coyle’s penalty midway through the second period, and Scunthorpe could have added further goals to their tally.

After the game, Hurst explained: “It was good to get through with some great finishes and good play. At 3-0, you see a different second half. Some of the lads have played a lot of football recently, while there were others coming into the team who haven’t and that showed as well a little bit.

“I think both teams could have had at least a couple more goals to give the scoreline a silly sort of look, but the important thing is we capitalised on mistakes that we thought we could cause because of how these teams like to play. You could see they were very good footballers but they looked a little like rabbits in the headlights to start with and we took advantage of that.

“It gave us a comfortable lead, albeit they were given a penalty that was a little bit soft. They are young professionals and that will be a learning curve in some way, but they sticked to what they do. You can see how they grind teams down. There were other opportunities for them but overall we’re pleased to be through.

“Looking ahead to Newport (on Saturday), I think we’ll see a very different game to what we saw tonight.”

Talking about the team’s progression to the last eight of the tournament, for which the quarter final draw takes place on Thursday lunchtime, Hurst continued: “I’ve been fortunate enough to see what can happen (reaching the final as Shrewsbury manager). There will be a bit more interest.

“We’re one of the lowest ranked teams left in it and with the draw opening up we could go anywhere now. It would be nice to get a home draw of course, but there are some good teams left in the competition, and now you will get to the point where teams put out their stronger sides.”

Hurst explained why van Veen came off at half-time and also provided an update on the condition of other players following the game.

The boss added: “(Kevin) said he wanted to stay on but he’d made it clear he had a knock of some kind. We take a little bit of hope from the fact he wanted to stay on that it wasn’t too bad. It looked to be his thigh, so fingers crossed he will be okay.

“Abo Eisa looked like he got something towards the end but hopefully he’ll be okay. Alex Gilliead was coughing and spluttering tonight, so we gave him a bit of a rest again. Hopefully he’ll be okay. We’re sweating on Rory McArdle (who missed out through illness) for the weekend but overall we’ll hopefully have come through tonight unscathed.

“I wanted to try and give a breather to a couple of lads who might have needed it.”

Talking about on-loan goalkeeper Jake Eastwood’s return to parent club Sheffield United, Hurst explained how he was hopeful the player could return to the Iron soon.

He said: “It’s for no reason other than the concussion injury (to the Blades’ Dutch goalkeeper Michael Verrips) that Sheffield United have brought him back. I saw (Sheffield United manager) Chris Wilder on Monday evening at their Under-23s game and we’re hopeful something can be done and we can bring Jake back here once he’s done what he’s needed to do at his parent club.”

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