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Cox updates as Iron get ready for Manchester City U21s encounter

24 August 2021

First team manager Neil Cox is hoping to take a look at a number of the young players at his disposal on Tuesday night when the Iron host Manchester City Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.

The likes of Cameron Wilson and Harry Jessop have all been handed substitute minutes so far this season, but the United boss believes the game poses an ideal opportunity to give them their chance from the start.

Speaking to iFollow Iron, he said: “We will need to make a couple of changes where we are allowed to, and we go from there.

“It’s a runout for those who need games. A couple of the young boys need to start games, get themselves going and get some match fitness into them. We’ve got a squad, and I need to have a look at the young lads playing in first team games. They did well in pre-season, they did well in the Lincolnshire Cup game, and now we have to take a look at them against a different sort of opposition, under a bit more pressure.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them play, and seeing how far they have come.”

One of those youngsters is goalkeeper Tom Collins, who returned to the bench at the weekend following injury, and is in line to start in the Trophy competition.

“Tom Collins has come back into the squad, so we will probably look at him and see if he can start,” he continued.

“Rory (Watson) has done really, really well. He made some great saves on Saturday, and kept us in the game in the first half. He’s experienced enough, so Tom needs to show himself and start pushing for a number one spot, and start playing first team football.”

The two teams meet for the third successive campaign in this competition, with the Iron winning the knockout game in January 2020, while the away side took the points in the Group Stage match last time out.

“It’s another good game for us, and a difficult tie for us,” he continued.

“We don’t know what to expect or who they’re going to play. We know they’ll be very good, like they were last year. They caused us all sorts of problems last year and they’re getting better in this competition every year.

“It’s about what we do, but we do our homework. We know they’re going to pass it, be brave in possession and we also know they will use their goalkeeper a lot to start their attacks.

“They’ve got 60 or 70 players to choose from. At the minute, I have about 13 to choose from, so it’s a little bit different.”

The side came away with a point at the weekend against Sutton United, and have a couple of question marks over a couple of players going into this encounter following some rash tackles from the visiting side at the weekend.

Changes will be made for the Papa John’s Trophy encounter, but the Iron must adhere to the rules when it comes to the starting team chosen.

“We’ve got a couple of knocks from Saturday,” he stated.

“Beest (Alfie Beestin), from a bad tackle early on in the game, has got a whack on his foot, so we’ll have to be careful with him. (George) Taft got a whack on his ankle late on in the game, so we’ll look at him too.

“For some of the other boys, we have to be wary, because they’ve played so many games. There are rules on who you can play, so it’ll be difficult. We’ve got a lot of injuries, and we have a big game at home in the league on Saturday, so it gives opportunities for others.”

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron.

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