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Cox reflects on hard-earned point at Walsall

17 August 2021

First team manager Neil Cox hailed the work rate and desire of his players as the Iron scored a late goal to draw 1-1 away at Walsall on Tuesday night.

Alfie Beestin netted the equalising strike in the 90th minute after Kieran Phillips had given the hosts the lead early in the second half.

Cox told iFollow Iron: "We kept going, we kept pushing and trying to play. We didn't just punt hopeful balls into the box, we had to get in the right areas, and we just kept persevering.

"We lacked a little bit of quality with our crossing at times, as we got the ball in some great areas but hit the first man too easily.

"For the last one we got four people in the box, and it popped to the feet of Beest, who was running from a midfield position and he finished really well. I felt personally we deserved it.

"I think we deserved more in truth, as the first half was probably the best we've played this season,. but we didn't test the goalkeeper enough. We got in good areas and Pughy (Tom Pugh) was so unlucky with the chance in the first half. I think if we'd scored the first goal it would have been a different game, but we carried on and the character we showed after going 1-0 down early on was excellent. We've had three hard games away from home in a week and could have given in but we showed great character and fully deserved the point in the end. We didn't give in and showed some passion.

"Did you see the way we celebrated? There's nothing better than them all celebrating together. It's a big thing as it's not about individuals, it's about the team. It was a good goal, a good finish and we celebrated away from home with the fans. We could hear them all night and they were terrific, and I was pleased that they saw that bit of fighting spirit.

"We're a confident side and got a knock in the first game of the season (losing to Swindon), but have built on it and got better in every game. We played against a team with a good budget, but we stood up to it. We were aggressive, passed the ball really well and deserved something from the game.

"There are a few tired bodies after three away games on the trot but the goal at the end makes us a little less tired, and we go again on Saturday at home (against Sutton United)."

Updating on why Myles Hippolyte wasn't involved in the squad, he continued: "Myles tweaked his back yesterday in training, which is difficult but it gives other people opportunities. He had a little bit of a fitness test this morning but wasn't right."

Ryan Loft missed the game with a cheekbone injury sustained against Rochdale and Cox said: "Lofty will have an operation and we'll know more after that. Can he wear a mask: We believe he can, but until the operation over the next couple of days we're unsure."

Alex Kenyon missed out with a hamstring injury, and Cox said: "That looks like it'll be around three or four weeks now, rather than a couple as first thought."

See much more from Neil Cox and Alfie Beestin on iFollow Iron.

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