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Hurst provides update ahead of Bradford away clash

16 January 2020

Manager Paul Hurst says the Iron are waiting on a number of players ahead of the away clash against Bradford City on Saturday.

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Previewing the encounter with iFollow Iron, he said: “We’ve not had an ideal week in terms of preparation for this game. We had ten outfield players training on Thursday morning, which are available to us this weekend, which includes Jacob Bedeau and John McAtee.

“We’ll look at things tomorrow, but it’s been difficult to plan and more a case of keeping the lads ticking over that are fit. We have four players who haven’t trained this week, who may have a chance of training tomorrow.

“Rory (McArdle) is over his illness and Kevin (van Veen) is still feeling the injury (a dead leg that ruled him out against Newport last week). I’ve not quite ruled him out just yet but he hasn’t trained. Sometimes you have to do what you need to do, but it’s far from ideal.”

Lee Novak will be absent for the game with the Bantams, as he starts a three-match suspension after being shown a red card against Newport last weekend.

The boss added: “The club appealed the decision but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. Having seen it back, I think there is an element of it being soft. At the same time, there probably is a decision for the referee to make there. Whether a yellow card is sufficient? He didn’t hurt the lad.

“I know they’ll say intent but it certainly wasn’t as dangerous as the tackle made by the same player earlier in the game. We lose Lee for the next three league games now and will have to make do without him.”

Looking ahead to the challenge the sixth-placed Bantams will pose, he continued: “They were one of the favourites naturally due to the size of the club, and the fact they came down from League One like ourselves.

“Gary (Bowyer) went in last year and started to implement some changes ahead of this season, and I’d dare say there are still some more he’d like to make as he progresses. They have some good players and have been up there challenging. There will be a big crowd at the game, which hopefully the players will thrive on. We had a good game against them here (drawing 1-1), after having Lundy sent off, and claimed a well-earned point on the day with a battling performance. They have some threats and one or two lads just coming back fit.

“They were eight unbeaten prior to last week, and it’s very rare a team goes on runs much longer than that. Clearly like any team they’ll want to get back to winning ways, especially in front of their own fans. Our job is to go there to try and make that not happen.

“If everyone is at the top of their game, we know we can beat anyone on our day. We probably haven’t done that enough times but have shown that to be true in certain instances. We still have some good players available to us, though what team I’m going to put out will probably not be decided until Friday and it may even be a decision on the morning of the game. I expect whoever is selected to give their all and try to get a good result for us.”

The manager concluded by paying his and the club's respects to goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite, following the tragic passing of his son Ronan last week.

He said: “Our thoughts are all with Paul and his family, and we can’t start to imagine how difficult it can be. It was tragic news and we’re trying to give Paul the time he needs. He knows where we are and came back in for the game last week. It was a nice touch by (Abo) Eisa and the players (to celebrate the goal with him). We’ll be there for him and our thoughts are with his family.”

See much more from Paul Hurst and Abo Eisa on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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