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Cox looks ahead to first of three home fixtures in quick succession

15 March 2021

First team manager Neil Cox has previewed the first of three home games in the space of a week, when Oldham Athletic visit the Sands Venue Stadium on Tuesday night (7pm kick-off).

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16 March 2021

His side enter the match on the back of a 1-1 away draw at Leyton Orient at the weekend, and will be seeking a winning return to home soil after losing the most recent matches there against high-flying Exeter City and Cheltenham Town (both 2-0).

Cox told iFollow Iron: "Everyone came through the Orient game okay. Kev (van Veen) took a whack on the back of his calf for the penalty incident but he was okay this morning. He looked like he was getting back to his old self on Saturday, and we got 80+ minutes out of him. It's good for him and we'll see how he is ahead of tomorrow night.

"It's always a big week when you have three games at home. We need to start picking more points up and have been sloppy at home in the last couple. We need to make sure we start the game better. We need to show our quality and be better in the final third, not wasting the ball."

18th-placed United take on a Latics side sitting on the same number of points as them, but a place above due to their better goal difference. They've recently changed head coaches, with former Northampton boss Keith Curle coming in a day after Harry Kewell's departure.

Cox said: "Oldham have changed their formation and Keith likes playing three at the back, with two wide men pushed on and getting overloads in. They started the game well on Saturday (when they lost 4-2 at home to promotion-chasing Cambridge United) but he will be disappointed with some of the goals they conceded. We have to make sure we're on it.

"I think Keith will get into them about their defending and address that. They're the third highest in the league for scoring goals and we expect an open, entertaining game."

The boss confirmed centre-back Harrison McGahey will be out until next month now with a thigh injury, while fellow defender Emmanuel Onariase (groin) will be assessed over the course of the next week.

He continued: "Harrison has more of a sore thigh than we first thought, so will be out for a bit longer, and that might be three or four weeks.

"Manny was back on the grass on Saturday and trained again this morning. It's a matter of us looking at him in the next four or five days to see where his fitness is.

"Jordan (Clarke) has gone into the centre-back role and managed really well, showing his experience, while JB (Jacob Bedeau) has done a really good job and is getting his confidence back."

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron. Click here to get your Iron vs Oldham Athletic match pass.


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