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Cox reflects on point against high-flying Tranmere

10 April 2021

First team manager Neil Cox gave his reaction to iFollow Iron after a hard-fought 0-0 draw at home to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

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13 April 2021

It was a second goalless stalemate in a row at home for Scunthorpe, coming against a side who were in the top three prior to the match. 

Speaking afterwards, Cox said: “I’m pleased. We didn’t get the chance to put the team together until 1.15pm, as we've had a bit of illness in the camp so I couldn’t pick the side. We've also had a lot of injuries, so a couple of other people didn’t make it.

"I tried to be positive by playing two up front, (John) McAtee as a ten, positive midfield players and only one sitter. It was difficult, it was a bobbly pitch and they came to stop us, but they played a diamond. We tried to combat that but didn't get our forwards forward enough in the first half and we lacked a little bit of quality.

"But the endeavour and passion we showed to keep in it and try and win it at the end, with (Alfie) Beestin getting a good chance, was excellent. We didn’t play good football, but we had a really good go and that’s the main thing. Rory (Watson) only made one save, which was an excellent one from a set-play. I think a draw was probably the fairest result in the end.” 

Speaking about Kevin van Veen, who made his first appearance in three weeks following a knee injection to play the full match, he added: “Kev (van Veen) put a really good shift in, he got beat up a little bit and banged all over the place. He had a couple of efforts, and we'll try to get him fit for Tuesday.” 

Cox also explained that there were five knocks from the game. He said: "Those players have ice packs on and it is a little bit of a worry. We have still got enough people who are fit, and if a few of the young boys have to come in on Tuesday night, they come in.” 

George Taft, returning from a six week ankle injury lay-off, was one of the five players that sustained a knock early in the second half, but Cox hopes it is only minor. He said: “It was on his bad ankle, but I think it was just a shock to him as it’s the first whack he's had on it, so we'll have to assess him and see how he gets on. I thought he was excellent coming back in. We maybe brought him in too soon, but we needed him. We were struggling for players at the back, and he did a good job for us.”

On the illness in the camp ahead of the game, Cox explained: "It isn't Covid-related. (Abo) Eisa called in ill, and we saw him yesterday and he looked ill so he was sent home. A couple of other staff have also been poorly so we've kept them away from the building."

Speaking about Ryan Loft, who missed out with a groin injury, he said: "Lofty is still 50-50 and we got him in for treatment this morning. He started the warm-up yesterday (in training) but didn't get through it. We'll just be careful with him, and if he's not available we have enough forwards who can come in."

Manny Onariase was absent with a hamstring problem, while Devarn Green sat out with a thigh issue, and Cox added: "Dev should hopefully train on Monday so that's good news. Manny isn't fit yet and we're not sure he's going to be fit until next week. We're just waiting on some results back on him."

The Iron next play on Tuesday night away at Morecombe, and Cox concluded: “We’ll get in on Monday and will have a look, and have a debrief of the game on where we can do better. But we are getting there. I know it’s another 0-0 but we pushed forward, and we tried to be brave. It was a good performance, but we were lacking that little bit of quality on a bobbly surface (to make the breakthrough)."

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron.


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