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Cox reacts to Salford clash

12 January 2021

First team manager Neil Cox gave his thoughts to iFollow Iron after his side lost 1-0 at home to Salford City.

United fought hard in both halves of the game, but it was a late goal from Ian Henderson that set United back in the 89th minute.

Speaking post-match, Cox said: “Obviously that mistake (which led to the winner) cost us the game, that’s just the way it is. I thought our effort and determination and the way we played especially in the first half was excellent against a really good Salford team that are expected to win promotion. They have spent a lot of money on the team and are favourites to go up, and I thought we matched them.

“We were lacking quality in the final third. In the second half they changed and went forward a little more and longer. To be honest, there wasn’t a lot of goalmouth action. We had a good opportunity with John McAtee having half a chance, but there weren't a lot of quality chances in the second half, and that mistake cost us the point.” 

He added: "24 games left, and if we play like we did tonight, we will be fine with no problem. Yeah, we didn’t play brilliantly in the final third, we are just missing that little bit of quality. But at times I thought we were excellent and put them under pressure.”

George Taft and Jem Karacan made their debuts for the Iron tonight, and Cox said: “Taft comes in and he knows this league, and has played a lot of games at this level. He knows when to play forward, when to defend and when to kick it in the stand and heads it in both boxes, and I think he’ll only get better. 

“Jem let our two midfield players (Lewis Spence and Alfie Beestin) run forward more than anything, and I think that’s why he did really well. First half, he just let them go and sat there collecting most of the second balls sat in midfield. When he came off, we did lose that midfield battle, and we lost a lot of ground and possession.” 

Giving an update on Kevin van Veen's progress as he looks to recover from a hamstring injury, he said: “There is a long way to go. He is five weeks into a ten-week injury, and we will have to see; we can’t push him. We have got 24 games to go, and if Kev can be fit for 15, then that’s the main thing we need to do.”

Cox added he was hopeful Harrison McGahey would receive game time in the Under-23s match against Walsall on Wednesday, as he steps up his return from a hamstring injury. He added Emmanuel Onariase and Myles Hippolyte (both ankle) could be fit for the trip to Barrow at the weekend, and Mason O'Malley was rested as Junior Brown returned to the side following a thigh injury.

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron. Click here to get your iFollow match pass for Saturday's trip to Barrow.


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