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Interviews

Cox talks following draw at Carlisle

18 September 2021

First team manager Neil Cox provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after the Iron were pegged back in the dying stages to draw 2-2 away at Carlisle United.

Scunthorpe went two goals up through first-half headers from Aaron Jarvis and Manny Onariase but the hosts managed to steal a point with the last kick of the game. 

On the result, Cox said, “I’m disappointed after we were playing so well. In the first half especially, we created chances, and I know we scored by set plays, but we had enough opportunities, and we started the game really well. 

“We knew they would change at half time; we had done our homework and we’ve seen that they push everybody forward. We had to be ready for it and I thought we were, but we showed a little bit of inexperience when we should have just seen it out. It feels like a loss, but we would have taken a draw after last week’s result. However, we are disappointed.”

Furthermore, he continued: “(The first half is) the way we want to play, and the boys were disappointed last week at the way we fell apart, but they’ve worked hard this week on what we need to do. We’ve all been here together, and it’s been a tough week for them but they’ve shown a lot of character by coming here and putting them under pressure.”

On Carlisle's goals, Cox said: “We tried to play our way out of trouble for the first goal and it cost us and then we didn’t deal with the cross or defend the far post.

“We have got a really young side; we just have to keep going because that’s what we’ve got. We have seven more games in 33 days, so everyone is going to be needed, but we have to play at that tempo, and we must defend better. There are more positives than negatives though despite being 2-0 up and failing to see the game out.”

He also commented on right-back Ross Millen, who was subbed off late on today, “Millen was struggling. We have put Ross forward because obviously we need him to come in, but he’s not getting forward as much as he wants too because he’s got to look after his body. We had to throw him in. He felt his calf late on though, so I had to change it and we lost that pattern.”

On the next fixture at home to Port Vale next Saturday, he said: “We’re going to work hard with them all week and we will get ready for a tough home game but that’s the way we have to start the game and we have to have that passion and drive and pass the ball like we did in today’s first half. Today we just needed that third goal to see them off at the start of the second half.” 

Harry Davis, Lewis Thompson, and Harry Bunn weren’t involved in the game, and Cox provided his reasons for these changes, adding: “Davis had stitches (in his head) and it wouldn’t be ideal for him to play at the moment, which is a big loss, while Bunny [Bunn] felt his hamstring so he missed out - it is short term though. Tommo [Thompson] had a dead leg yesterday in training so we made the change.”

Finally, on the 176 travelling fans, he said: “I think it was absolutely fantastic. We could hear them, and they were getting behind us. We said we were going to come here to try and win the game and not to just sit back and defend. That’s what we want as staff, that’s what the players have been told they have to do. We probably could have done with a bit of luck and we didn’t get it.”

See much more from Neil Cox and George Taft on iFollow Iron.


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