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Cox speaks following Walsall match

24 April 2021

First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side's 2-0 home defeat to Walsall, through first-half goals from Emmanuel Osadebe and Josh Gordon.

He said: "I thought we got in some good areas in the first 10 minutes, and we had a really good chance with (Alfie) Beestin, and then down the other end they had half a chance that they turned into a goal with a midfield runner, and from then we looked like we lacked confidence and the know-how to get back into the game.

"The second goal was really poor. From our throw-in, we gave away a free-kick and it ended up in our box and resulted in somebody getting on the wrong side of one of their players and it was an easy goal for them.

"You have to keep yourself in the game because the next goal is always big and if you can get it to 1-1 you're back in it. At 2-0 down you leave yourself a mountain to climb.

"We pushed and tried to change it, but we lacked quality and belief. We are a bit leggy at the moment and have had three hard games on the road, and a lot of travelling, but we have to get on with it now as we have a long journey to Newport on Tuesday night to focus on now."

He explained a couple of knocks picked up in the game, adding: "Jai Rowe has a really bad eye, while Manny (Onariase) is feeling his hamstring a little bit.

"Gilly (Alex Gilliead) came off (early in the second half) and it was purely because he's played so much football. He was looking leggy and we couldn't afford to get him injured. I played him on the left to help him out and tuck him inside, while we tried to go with the pace of Dev (Green) on the other side.

"Jem (Karacan, who was rested) has not been feeling too good as well, so we were just careful with him and we know we have three big games to come where we have to pick up points."

Harrison McGahey and Joey Dawson were due to start the game, and Cox explained why they weren't involved.

He continued: "Harrison has felt his thigh again so missed out. He was meant to play, as was Joey Dawson, but those two couldn't because of the recurrence of injuries.

"Joey would have made his first senior start today. We'd done a bit of work on shape with him. He felt his ankle after Thursday and came in on Friday morning and wasn't able to train.

"We need to send him for a scan to make sure everything's okay. It's an ongoing situation with his ankle. Sometimes he's fine to train and gets on with it, but sometimes he takes a nick or whack on it and it flares up so we have to be careful."

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron.

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