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Cox updates as Iron prepare to face Harrogate

18 February 2021

First team manager Neil Cox has provided an update on injuries and previewed the home Sky Bet League Two encounter against Harrogate Town this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Club News

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20 February 2021

The postponement of last weekend's away game at Morecambe due to a frozen pitch means it will have been over three weeks without completing a full match for his side.

Indeed, the only competitive football played during that time was half an hour of the home game vs Bradford a week-and-a-half ago, which was postponed on the grounds of player safety due to the heavy snow conditions.

Their last three games played saw there victories and clean sheets in less than a week, and Cox is hoping his side can come out refreshed and ready to build on the positive few days that saw wins over Grimsby Town (3-0), Port Vale (2-0) and Colchester United (1-0).

Cox told iFollow Iron: "We've settled down and they've trained really well all week, training hard on Monday, Tuesday, having Wednesday off and then doing a bit more on Thursday before focusing on the game.

"We need to get the games played, get back focused on winning some points and hopefully we can get some when we play Harrogate, against who it will be a tough test.

"We want to get as high up the table as we possibly can, and give it a right good go. We're on a good run of form, have belief in the camp and also have good options on the bench that can change it too.

"Last week we were on the 3G training pitch at Doncaster where you always have to be careful, but this week we've been able to use our training ground, worked really hard and done a couple of days of fitness sessions before preparing for the games ahead."

Midfielder Jem Karacan has been back training fully after recovering from the shoulder injury which forced him off against Colchester.

Harrison McGahey will miss out again though, but is set to further step up his recovery from a hamstring injury this weekend.

Elsewhere, the manager updated on Kevin van Veen, who was on the bench against Bradford City after being missing since November with a hamstring injury, and Jordan Clarke, who has been out with a thigh injury since the win over Grimsby.

He said: "Jem has been training fully so we'll have to look at him ahead of this one. Harrison is training but not fully yet. He will start full training on Saturday morning.

"Jordan has trained well this week and has come back early, while Kevin van Veen has also had another full week of training, so we have some big but good decisions to make.

"Everybody is going to be needed, we go Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday for seven weeks now and I can't play the same team for seven weeks. There will be so many factors to consider, such as the quality of pitches for example. We will try and keep away from injuries as best as we possibly can."

He also updated on Olufela Olomola, who suffered a knee injury in November, and Aaron Jarvis (hamstring), but had bad news concerning George Hornshaw.

He said: "Fela is full training but needs to get a game, however we've had no Under-23s matches. Jarvo is back on the grass but will be some way off.

"George Hornshaw has taken a whack in training, and has injured his ankle so might be out for a while. He's gone to see a specialist regarding that."

United were 5-2 winners at Harrogate back in December, but Cox is under no illusions about the task ahead against a side that has defeated high-flying Carlisle United and Newport County in recent weeks.

He said: "I went to watch them on Tuesday night and they were by far the better side against Carlisle, and looked really strong, solid and well-organised. After we beat them, I think they've changed a little bit and got themselves going again. Simon Weaver has done a great job there."

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron. Click here to get your match pass ahead of the home game against Harrogate Town.

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