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Cox confirms Taft will be fit for Grecians encounter

10 September 2021

First team manager Neil Cox has provided an update on team news ahead of his side's Sky Bet League Two home game against Exeter City on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

United saw George Taft come off with a knock in the closing stages of last Saturday's 2-0 away loss at Northampton Town, but Cox was pleased to report the centre-back will be available to face the Grecians this weekend.

He told iFollow Iron: "Tafty is fine and has trained really well. It was a more of a kick that swelled up, and we had to be careful with it as we couldn't afford a 'four-to-six weeker'."

Cox also updated on attacker Jordan Hallam (groin), midfielder Dan Gallimore (thigh) and striker Ryan Loft (cheekbone).

He said: "Jordan Hallam is back training fully and finally seems to be getting himself there. We're unsure how far away he is from playing but we'll look at him next week. We have a fitness day on Tuesday and if he's up to scratch he'll come back into the reckoning. Dan Gallimore had a sore thigh but has come back and is now training.

"We saw a specialist on Wednesday regarding Lofty and are going to need a second opinion, just to work on the timescale, and that will hopefully be next week. He's been doing running on the training ground though."

Manny Onariase will miss out through a one match ban following his red card at Sixfields last weekend, and Cox added: "It gives opportunities. We've considered whether to keep it as a back three or go to a four."

Reflecting on last weekend and this week's preparations as a whole, he added: "We were disappointed. I know we had a man sent off, but we didn't start the game well, weren't at it, and it was a disappointing first 20 minutes. Then when Manny got sent off it was even harder to get ourselves going. We've had a look at it - what we did wrong and what we didn't do right - and we've worked really hard all week in training. It's been a good week's training and we're building up to a good game at home on Saturday.

"They're a good side, well organised and well drilled. They've changed their formation and gone to three at the back, playing with a '10', but we've done our homework and are fully organised on how we're going to do it. It's about us creating chances.

"We need to start the game better - it's League Two football and you have to do the ugly side of the game, winning first balls, playing in behind and setting a base from it. Northampton started much better than us last week, so we have to be ready."

See much more from Neil Cox and Harry Bunn on iFollow Iron.

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