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Cox updates on Davis, O'Malley and more as he previews Barrow trip

18 October 2021

Speaking prior to the trip to face Barrow, Iron first team manager Neil Cox is calling on his players to put in the same effort and determination as when they met the league leaders on Saturday.

While the result didn’t go United's way, the turning point hinged on a controversial refereeing decision in a game which didn’t look like two teams at the opposite ends of the table competing against each other.

“If I’m honest, I’m more raging this morning and yesterday when I looked back at the game and the decisions that went against us,” he said, talking to iFollow Iron.

“I’ve had a report sent in to Mike (Jones, Head of Refereeing at the EFL) about seven or eight big decisions that really went against us. We’re not going to get anything back from it, but I was just really disappointed with how he lost control of the game.

“There was nothing in the game. (Before the penalty), you wouldn’t have known which team was top and which team was bottom, but we’ve lost the game because of a really bad decision, I believe. The two we didn’t get were more certain penalties than the one we had given against us."

The defeat wasn’t the only fall-out from the game at the weekend, with a number of injuries picked up as a result of poor challenges, some of which went unpunished.

One was skipper Harry Davis, who was withdrawn in the first half due to a head wound, while left-back Mason O’Malley is also waiting to hear about the seriousness of his injury after he was substituted in the second half.

“Harry Davis is going to get 40-odd stitches in a head wound, which is never a good thing,” he continued. 

“We didn’t get a free-kick and we had to kick the ball out of play. He’s going to be missing. 

“Mase (Mason O’Malley) has got a suspected bad leg injury. We won’t know how bad it is until he sees a specialist. (George) Tafty is lucky enough to get away with the tackle on him, as he saw it coming, but that could have been a really bad one. There were a couple of naughty tackles in there and some bad luck for us.

“There a couple of other knocks and a couple of illnesses. Ross (Millen) has trained today, but is still ill. We’ve got a couple with illnesses, so we have to be careful with them. We’re down to the bare bones, but there were smiles on the faces this morning, we’ve had a really good session, and we look forward to the challenge.”

Cox believes the team can take a lot of positives from the weekend into his side’s latest encounter away at Barrow on Tuesday night, and acknowledged the home support for their appreciation of the display at the weekend.

“We got beaten 2-0, but we got clapped off, and I think that’s a good sign,” he stated. 

“We were really poor the week before, but I think the supporters could see the effort and desire to try and get a result. When the opposition goalkeeper gets man of the match, it’s always a painful one, but it shows we put them under pressure.”

United have already travelled to Cumbria on a Tuesday night to face the Bluebirds this season, with the hosts edging the Carabao Cup tie back in August.

Speaking on the upcoming game, the Scunthorpe boss said: “It’s not easy. When we went there in the cup, we put in a good performance in without being overly attacking on the night. 

“We lost the game from a really good overhead kick from a long throw, and there wasn’t much in the game.

“They’re on a little bit of a poor run themselves. We have to do our jobs, and show the same determination and character that we did on Saturday. If we get that little bit of luck, we will get the right result.

“I look around at my team and they’re ready and raring to go.”

See much more from Neil Cox and Jake Scrimshaw on iFollow Iron.


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