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Cox speaks following first warm-up game

10 July 2021

First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after United ran out 4-1 winners at Barton Town in their first game of pre-season.

Cox took his team to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division side for their opening warm-up encounter a little over a week following their return to training.

Ryan Loft scored a first-half penalty, with Alfie Beestin adding another from the spot during the second-half. A further Beestin goal and a strike from Devarn Green followed before former Iron Scott Matthews pulled a late one back with a free-kick in the closing stages.

Cox said: "The main thing was getting them through this. We've worked them hard since they returned on July 1st, and also yesterday, while putting the pressure on today. It was a good test for us against a good Barton side. We worked hard and scored a couple of goals while staying pretty unclear of injuries, so that was good.

"We've been working on the team and how we want to play. We want to play better football and through the thirds more, but not overplay. When we settled down a little bit, we did it quite well - especially in the first-half, as we got in some good areas and put some good passes in.

"We got something out of the first week that we've worked on and that was really positive. We showed good energy, and the tackles were flying in against a side that put us under pressure. It was a good test until the last 15 minutes of the game really.

"We had a lot of positives and now we go again on Monday, and will continue the hard work this week.

"We want to create more, and play two up top off possible, but players have to work hard on the ball, we have to keep it better and make better decisions. I saw a lot of positives today.

"We will get really stuck into them this week, picking out more points we need to improve on and will go again. Next Saturday (away at Farsley Celtic) I expect us to be fitter and to play a bit better.

"Pre-season isn't easy. We're working them really hard and trying to get some new faces in. Some of the players are working really hard to nail down their places already, while some of the younger boys have done really well and deserve their opportunity. The two new professionals (Dan Gallimore and Cameron Wilson) have been excellent for example."

See much more from Neil Cox and Alfie Beestin on iFollow Iron.


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