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Cox provides injury update and previews Crawley at home

1 April 2021

First team manager Neil Cox has provided a detailed update on injury news as United get ready to play their first game in 10 days on Good Friday, when Crawley Town visit the Sands Venue Stadium.

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2 April 2021

Unbeaten in four matches, Scunthorpe arrive into the match in good spirits following a 2-0 home win over Bradford City last time out.

During that game though, Junior Brown came off early in the second-half and Cox explained the extent of the left-back's injury.

He told iFollow Iron: "Junior is going to be out for around five-to-six weeks now with a hamstring injury, and it will be difficult for him to get back between now and the end of the season, although he could be back if needed and we will push him to get fit. It could have been a really bad one and isn't as bad as first thought. It happened when he fell off the side of the pitch."

Fellow left-back Mason O'Malley has just returned from international duty with Republic of Ireland Under-21s and Cox explained how that went for the former Huddersfield Town trainee.

He said: "He had a good week and it's done him good learning from other people as well, and their coaching seemed on the same wavelength as ours, as they've been telling him to be braver going forward like we have. He's full of confidence and looking forward to the next ten games. He's done really well and is pushing forward."

The Crawley game will come too soon for Kevin van Veen, who limped off against Southend United a fortnight ago, as Cox explained: "Kev took a whack on the knee so we decided to inject it. He won't be involved this weekend and we'll look at him on Sunday when we're back in training to see how he is. The Tuesday game may come a little too early for him, but we need to make sure the top of his knee is okay. With ten days off, it was ideal to get the jab done and all's gone well with that."

Centre-back Emmanuel Onariase returns to the squad following a groin problem, which has ruled him out for the past month.

Cox continued: "Manny's fit so will come into the squad, which is good news, because he's had even more time after the last game against Bradford, which he could have played in, but we decided not to risk him so he could have a full week of training. We have a busy schedule ahead and need as many players fit and raring to go as possible."

Elsewhere, fellow defender George Taft is ahead of schedule with the ankle injury he sustained against Cheltenham Town in February.

The manager said: "Tafty trained with us this morning but won't be involved this week or next. However, he joined in with the eleven vs eleven on Thursday morning, which is excellent news. He's well ahead of schedule."

Attacker Jordan Hallam suffered a hamstring injury after scoring a late equaliser against Oldham Athletic a couple of weeks ago, and Cox explained where the former Sheffield United man is at in his recovery.

He also provided an update on defender Harrison McGahey, who has missed out with a thigh problem since the Salford away match last month.

He said: "Jordan Hallam has had an injection in his hamstring to speed the recovery up, and we'll see where he's at in a couple of weeks, while Harrison has been running around the training ground and doing some of the warm-ups and small-sided stuff. He'll be back tomorrow morning to do some more running. He probably won't start training fully until the end of next week."

The Good Friday fixture sees United return to action and play the first of nine games in the space of 29 days, with the final fixture of the season against Stevenage then following a week after the May 1st encounter at Bradford City.

He said: "The last ten days (without a game) have been good. We gave the boys a couple of days off to rest their bodies, and have had the chance to work on some things on the training ground for the first time in a while. We've had some good sessions and are raring to go, and get back into action with another busy schedule coming up.

"There are a lot of midweek games and also a lot of travelling coming up too. We have some youngsters who need to be given some first team action at the right time too. Some have trained really well and not had game time this year, and I'd like to give them minutes. We want to win the ten matches we have left and push ourselves right up the league too though.

"We're going to keep pushing forward and trying to win games. We can be a little more open like we were against Bradford but still defend as a unit and try to keep clean sheets, while being braver in possession.

"Crawley had a game in midweek and have done a lot of travelling but they're a good footballing side and I think the FA Cup run they had means they've been playing catch-up in the league. They need to win games to try and get in the play-offs so we know they'll be up for it. They're well-organised, fit, have experience in the side and youth too.

"Our aim is to look after ourselves. We've done our homework on Crawley and will be organised and go hard. It's about what we do and we need to be on it. They beat us 1-0 earlier in the season and it will be a difficult test for us."

See much more from Neil Cox and Ryan Loft on iFollow Iron. Click here to get your Iron vs Crawley Town match pass.


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