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Cox: I didn't want it to be easy in pre-season

30 July 2021

Iron first team manager Neil Cox is looking forward to another challenge in pre-season, as he takes his side to face former club AFC Wimbledon.

Cox was with the Dons for seven years as assistant manager, and is delighted that the League One team are now back on the up and have returned to their Plough Lane home.

Speaking ahead of the game, he told iFollow Iron: “We look forward to going to Wimbledon at their new stadium.

“I spent seven years there, and there will be 4,000 people there. They always say “once a Don, always a Don” and it’s absolutely unbelievable what that football club went through and if anyone doesn’t know the story, they should look at it. They went out of the league, they lost their ground and had to start again.

“Now they’re back at Plough Lane and I’m over the moon for them because it’s a fantastic club, run by fantastic people. I was really happy when they rang us to see if we’d go play a game there. I know it’s a long way to go, but I think it’ll be a good game for us.”

With the match taking place a week before the EFL campaign gets underway, Cox is aiming to push as many players towards the 90-minute mark as possible, doing the same for the remainder of the squad in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup quarter-final away at Grantham Town on Tuesday.

“It’s a 90 minute game, and we’ve got two 90 minute games coming up,” he added.

“Obviously, we hopefully get a few more bodies back into the building who have been off. 

“It’s a game against another League One team, and I wanted challenges in pre-season. I didn’t want it to be easy, so we come up against a League One team who will hopefully do really well in their league this year.”

AFC Wimbledon have confirmed to us that with this Saturday's friendly being a test event for them, they will just be using the one stand so can't allow any away fans into the ground. We'll have live text updates from the game on our Twitter site.

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