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Cox talks about Bantams preparations

8 February 2021

First team manager Neil Cox is looking forward to his side’s first match in 11 days when they host Bradford City at the Sands Venue Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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9 February 2021

United signed off with three wins in a week before seeing their weekend match against Oldham Athletic called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Speaking to iFollow Iron, the Scunthorpe boss stated it’s preparations as normal, despite a large volume of snowfall in the area on Monday morning: “We were disappointed at the weekend with the game getting postponed - but rightly so, as the pitch wasn’t playable. We’re in a good run of form at the minute, so we need to play these games. We don’t want a backlog of games, so we will be doing everything we can to get this one on.

“The boys are confident at the moment, so we need to keep going. We’ve got belief around the place and when you’ve got that in football, you just want the next game to come. We had an eight-day break initially and have now had to wait some more days. I know the weather doesn’t look great at the moment, but we’ll be doing everything we can.

“We prepare as normal. We will train and go through everything we usually do ahead of a game. Everything will be done properly, and I’ll make sure the boys are 100 per cent focused on the game being on and we don’t worry about anything else. That’s the main thing.”

The Bantams come into the game having lost their first game under the interim management of Conor Sellars and Mark Trueman - a first defeat in nine - away at promotion-chasing Exeter.

With a number of additions welcomed to the Yorkshire club in January, Cox believes it will be another tough test for his side: “They’re done really and had a really good January window, bringing in a lot of forward-thinking players.

“They’ve got a lot of pace on the wings and they’ve brought Andy Cook in who is experienced at this level and does a really good job. They’ll be disappointed with the goals they conceded at Exeter, but it’s a difficult place to go. They’re a good side and if they’re not pushing at the right end of the table by the end of this season, they definitely will be next season.”

With no game at the weekend, there was no real update in terms of the squad, with the Iron manager set to go with the same squad as he would have done at the weekend, although the starting personnel may vary.

“It’ll be the same squad. I did pick the side for Saturday, but I did say that things will change depending on the side we’re playing against,” he stated.

“It’s given me an opportunity to get a couple more days training into the lads who haven’t trained, and also a couple more days to have a look at other things. We’ve got a lot of games coming up, with Saturday’s (vs Oldham) needing to be rearranged too. Everyone will be needed - we named 21 in the squad for the weekend.”

Cox did admit that forward Kevin van Veen was among those 21 players named and, although Harrison McGahey wasn’t, he’s not too far away either.

Giving an update on the players on the periphery, he added: “Kev was in the squad, Harrison is still training and we’re being careful with him and wasn’t going to be risked. 

“Fela (Olufela Olomola) is back on the training ground, but needs to play a couple of Under-23s games to get some match fitness in. He’s looking sharp in training, but it’s been a difficult time for him having that knee problem after getting over his hamstring injury.

“Jarvo (Aaron Jarvis) has just started on the grass, running on his own. He’s still a way off - probably four or five weeks. 

“Everyone else is as you were. Jem (Karacan) has trained when we found out his shoulder wasn’t as bad. He’s still a bit sore, so we will have to be careful with him, but he’s been his usual jovial self around the place, which is good. Hopefully we can get him back in the next couple of weeks."

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron.

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