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Neil Cox gives his team news and views ahead of Harrogate away

30 November 2020

Iron manager Neil Cox has given his team news and views ahead of the side's first-ever meeting with Harrogate Town.

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30 November 2020

Cox takes his players to the EnviroVent Stadium on Tuesday (7pm kick-off) ahead of a free weekend following United's elimination from the Emirates FA Cup and has used the time to allow players to recover from a busy run of games which saw the side taken seven points from 12 available.

That included two successive away wins for the first time in a year, with Scunthorpe looking to make it maximum points on the road from three league games in succession for the first time since January 2019.

Speaking ahead of the game, Cox spoke to iFollow Iron: "There's been a little bit of a rest for a few of the players who have played a lot of games in a short period of time and the rest of the boys have had to work hard on the training ground.

"We've got a lot of minutes under the belts of those players and we've done some fitness work with them. We’ve got a busy December, like we always have, with a lot of games. We needed a bit of a break but now we’ve got a run of Tuesday-Saturdays with some big games involving teams in and around us."

United face Harrogate for the first time in history, but having been assistant manager at Notts County in the National League last season, Cox knows a thing or two about the Sulphurites.

"I know Harrogate quite well having played against them last year in the play-off final and in the league," he said.

"They're a really good, well-organised team and they're fit and strong. They've had a good start in League Two and I think they'll be disappointed with their FA Cup result at the weekend.

"I went to watch it and for the first 65 minutes, there wasn't a lot in the game. It'll be a tough test for us and we need to sure that we play forward and quickly and try to put them under pressure."

Harrison McGahey, Manny Onariase, Junior Brown and Olufela Olomola were the players to come out of the last game against Bolton Wanderers, with the latter two now set for a period of time on the sidelines following their scan results.

"Junior Brown is going to be out for a while, but we're not 100-per-cent yet how long for," he stated.

"It looks like he's got a bit of a tear in his thigh muscle. He's played a few games in a row and he was on a good run of form. 

"Fela is going to be out for about three months with a knee injury. It could have been a lot worse after seeing the tackle on him back. We're a little bit fortunate that it's not worse, but it's a shame for him after he worked so hard to get back fit again from his hamstring injury from pre-season.

"H and Manny both trained on Monday and we will make a final decision on them both ahead of the game. They look fine."

Forward Kevin van Veen missed the clash with the Trotters after being withdrawn after 11 minutes against Morecambe 10 days ago. The United boss gave an update on him: "He's been on the training ground, but he's not ready to join in with the group yet. We'll have to look at how his week goes this week and see if he's ready for after the weekend."

There was some positive team news, however, with Jake Taylor back involved following his period of isolation.

"Jake is back in the building, but he's been off for two weeks, so we have to be careful with him," he stated.

"He's done a little bit of training, but not a lot, so we will just have to see how he gets on and see how he is before we name the squad."

See much more from Neil Cox and Lewis Spence on iFollow Iron. Click here to subscribe.

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