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Interviews

Mark Lillis' team news and views ahead of Carlisle clash

16 September 2021

Assistant manager Mark Lillis is looking for a reaction from the Iron in this weekend’s encounter against Carlisle United.

The side make the trip to Cumbria looking to rediscover the performance levels and form from a couple of weeks ago which saw United go four unbeaten and claim their first league win of the season.

Speaking to iFollow Iron ahead of the game, he said: “Like I said after the game, it was unacceptable, but we draw a line under it and the lads have really trained well this week.

“There are going to be places up for grabs this weekend after that result. I felt for the fans after last week, and as a group we’ve got to put that behind us and go into a really tough six or seven games, taking each game at a time.

“There’s a hunger from the players as they know there may be opportunities. If they get an opportunity, they have to grasp it and take it into the game and stay in the team.

After receiving his first career red card at Northampton a fortnight ago after 20 minutes, and serving a suspension last time out, Emmanuel Onariase returns to contention to bolster Scunthorpe’s defensive options, a welcome boost for the club’s management.

“Manny coming back into the team is a boost for us,” Lillis continued.

“He’s been a big leader in the dressing room and on the pitch, and we’re looking forward to getting him back in. Everyone in the team has had to take a look at themselves, and have come in and trained really well.”

The Iron travel to a Carlisle side currently in 12th position with nine points to their name, with a win for Scunthorpe seeing the side draw level on points with their counterparts in what is a very tight spread across the league table so far.

Speaking about the threats that the hosts will pose this weekend, he added: “They’re really good. They play a 4-3-3 and we’ve done a lot of work on how we want to play and how they play as well.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re a good team and they went on a good run last season and it looked as though they were going to get in the play-offs. It’s one good game at a time, but I believe we will be ready and fired up.

“The fans have been unbelievable this season. It’s not about the individuals, it’s about the team and the fans. The fans are making the long trips and we want to send them home with a smile on their faces.”

Lillis also provided injury updates, with the likes of Alex Kenyon, Ryan Loft and Jordan Hallam all working their way back to fitness, while skipper Harry Davis could be a doubt for the weekend after the head injury sustained last weekend.

“Harry has the cut on his head from last week, and I'm not sure (if he'll be involved). We'll find out on Friday, as he's been to see a specialist," he continued.

“We’ve got a couple more injured players who are getting close to training and playing, but as always we will go with the team that we’ve got. We trust in the players. Saturday was tough to take, but we’ve got to move on. It’s a tough league, but we’ve got to pick up a couple of results and get on a run again. There’s a belief around the place, and they want to put that on the pitch.

“They’re all coming on. Lofty has been out doing some passing and finish with the lads, but everything he does is below tummy height, as he can't do any heading at the moment. Jordy is back on the field training, and has done some finishing today too, and he's looking quite bright and not far of. Alex has been out there running today and has done some running with the physios. Hopefully they should be back soon.

“We want players fighting for their shirts, and hopefully with these three or four players coming back in the next few weeks, that will help us.”


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