First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after United beat League One opposition AFC Wimbledon 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly a week before the League Two campaign starts.

After going a goal down from an Ollie Palmer penalty, the Iron bounced back to win the game courtesy of Harry Bunn’s deflected 25-yard volley and Ryan Loft’s converted penalty. Young goalkeeper Tom Billson also made a string of saves to hold United’s lead in the second half. 

On the game, manager Cox said, “I think it was a really good work out, in the first half they passed it quite well against us and we kept giving the ball away and they played through us but in the last 20 minutes of the half it was more like a League Two game in that we got balls in the box, won set plays, and we defended well.”

“We responded after going 1-0 down early on. The ball came in the box, there was a little mistake and a penalty given, but after that we stood to them and we saw the game out. We scored a bit of a fluky first goal and then Lofty got in there with a penalty. After that, Tom made some good saves but that’s what he’s here for and I expect those saves. He will only get better.” 

Cox also spoke about the Iron’s performance against another team in a higher division. “I think we’ve done really well, we stood firm, the two centre-halves were strong, and the two young lads who came in (Tom Pugh and Lewis Thompson) put their heads in there and defended really well, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.

“It was a good workout for us though and no injuries. We’ll freshen up this week and we’ve got a game on Tuesday night (at Grantham Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup quarter-finals) so some of the boys will play and then we’ll get freshened up ready for Saturday (against Swindon Town at the Sands Venue Stadium).” 

On Cameron Wilson, who came on as a substitute after an hour, the manager said: “He’s been excellent in pre-season, I thought let’s get him on in front of 4,000 fans and give him an opportunity and he did really well. He has no fear at the moment, and he wants the ball in tight areas, and wants to drop his shoulder. He’s a lad who teams will struggle against this season.” 

Finally, on the first game of the season next Saturday, he said, “It’s about gearing towards that, and I need everybody raring to go. I haven’t even thought about picking my team for the first game yet. It’s just about getting everyone through the games fit and sharp.”

See much more from Neil Cox and Ryan Loft on iFollow Iron.

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