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Cox post-Exeter City (H)

9 March 2021

First team manager Neil Cox was frustrated after his side lost 2-0 at home in a tough game against promotion-chasing Exeter on Tuesday night.

Matt Jay scored in the first half and Jack Sparkes fired in an 89th-minute goal to seal the win for the Grecians.

Cox told iFollow Iron: “I’m frustrated. We got beat by a better side, let’s not take anything away from it. They were quicker on the ball, played sharper and won most of the second balls, especially in the first half.

"We just struggled to get into the tempo of the game. In the second half, we tried to change it a little bit and bring some fresh legs on, but it just didn’t work tonight.

"We just weren’t at the races. I’m disappointed with the performance."

Discussing the Iron opportunities, he commented: “There were some half chances but we didn’t get a shot on target. We put some nice crosses into the danger areas yet didn’t finish it. Dev (Green) had a great chance at 1-0. If he'd hit the target, you just never know and that’s what we have to do.

“When we don’t play well, we have to try pick points up somewhere. That’s probably why we’ve only drawn three games this season because when we’re good we are a good side but when we’re not at our best we’re poor. We weren’t good enough today.”

Speaking about the five substitutions made, the manager said: “(Ryan) Loft’s got a sore ankle, Jai (Rowe) was a little bit tired and I’ve got to be careful with my midfield players as they’ve played a lot of games and they’re going through it a little bit. They’re the ones that are struggling and it’s going to be difficult to keep them going hard as it’s starting to catch up with them. I might have to chop and change it a little bit.

"I thought Jordan (Clarke) and JB (Jacob Bedeau) were excellent at centre-back and worked hard. They’re the only two centre-halves I’ve got fit, so I’m glad they’ve both come through it although they're a bit tired.”

Looking ahead to the next game away against Leyton Orient on Saturday (1pm kick-off), he said: “I’m not going to over panic about this result, as it's gone now. We’ve got four points at two games away from home, and we have to get ready to go away from home again.

“I am disappointed but I have to put it to bed now and go again. I have to make sure they’re ready for Saturday, I need to get some freshness into them and pick my strongest side to win the game, and put a good performance in away from home.”

Updating on Harrison McGahey (thigh) and Emmanuel Onariase (groin), Cox said: “We should know regarding Harrison in the next day or two but it doesn’t look too bad and hopefully he will be able to train at the end of the week, which will be good.

“Manny’s back into the building, and he’s moving well after his injection. He won’t be fit for the weekend but hopefully we can get him on the training ground and have a look. It’s positive because at the back we are struggling and we have to be careful with the boys that are playing.”

See much more from Neil Cox on iFollow Iron.

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