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Cox updates ahead of Salford home encounter

26 October 2020

First team manager Neil Cox says a late decision will be made on the squad to face Salford City, as the group that made the long trip to face Exeter City at the weekend will be assessed prior to Tuesday night's home game against the Ammies (7.45pm kick-off).

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27 October 2020

A club statement on Saturday morning confirmed the current state of play regarding COVID-19 at the Iron, and this affected the preparations before the match at St James Park.

Despite that, Scunthorpe put in one of their best displays of the season against the Grecians, who have been strongly tipped for promotion, in a game which saw Jai Rowe make his first start of the season at centre-back, and first EFL starts for the club for midfielders Alfie Beestin and Devarn Green.

"We've been making sure all the boys are feeling well and raring to go for a tough test against Salford," Cox said.

"We've got a couple of knocks from Saturday, while some of the boys who haven't had much game time so far played the full 90 minutes, so we just have to look at them and see how they come through training on Monday before we make decisions ahead of Tuesday's game.

"We'll probably know where we're fully at on Tuesday morning. It was a long trip back for them on Saturday night and we had to stop a couple of times which made it a bit longer, so we're just waiting before making a full decision."

Reflecting on Saturday's game, Cox said: "I thought the performance was a lot better and we looked like we're getting a bit of confidence back. At the end of the day, we still conceded three poor goals after being in the game - especially in the first 35 minutes where I felt we were the better side. Then they had one chance and we went 1-0 down, obviously there was a mistake for the second soon after and we were chasing the game again.

"It's a shame because if we had taken the chances it could have been different. We need to start scoring the first goal and capitalising when we get the opportunities.

"There were a lot of positives to take from the game though and it was good to see the three young boys (George Hornshaw, Rowe and Mason O'Malley) at the back take control, with Manny (Emmanuel Onariase) there helping them out. I felt they did well."

He explained more about the injuries to goalkeeper Rory Watson and winger Abo Eisa, adding: "Rory has a sore groin adductor, which he picked up on Friday. He originally had it a few weeks ago and it's just flared up again. Eisa might be a long-term situation as he has a problem with a tear in his chest muscle. We're going to look at that as it's a difficult one to analyse where he is just yet."

Among those being assessed ahead of the match are Junior Brown, Harrison McGahey and Jordan Clarke. The club are looking to get Brown fit as quickly as possible after he re-signed last weekend, while McGahey is looking to return from a hamstring problem sustained at Crawley last month. Clarke travelled to Exeter as part of the squad as he nears a return following a calf injury.

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