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Interviews

Hill updates ahead of trip to face Leyton Orient

13 April 2022

First team manager Keith Hill has previewed the Iron's trip to take on Leyton Orient on Good Friday.

With five games left for this season, United are looking to finish the season as strongly, and with as many positive situations emerging from the matches, as possible.

Updating on injuries, he said: "Mason O'Malley (hamstring) is back on the training pitch, which is good news. George Taft won't be available, while Ross Millen (ligaments) won't be either. It'll just be the regular squad that we've been selecting from recently.

"George has a stomach complaint that we believe is associated to potentially being an hernia, but we're led to believe it's not one of those after the scans. He's had an injection which will hopefully sort the problem out."

Talking ahead of the game, and how the preparations for two Easter games in quick succession are going, he continued: "The methodology is the same, with the preparation slightly adjusted for the specifics of the opposition, but that's football - it's our livelihood and what we're trained to do. It's important we make the most of the last five games of the season.

"We just have a little bit of illness and there seems to be a lot of sickness and diarrhoea. We can't seem to get rid of it, and it's happening on a regular basis. That's a concern because of the lateness of the developments. It's been happening quite frequently the day before a game and that's a concern for me going forward because we can lay the foundations of what we want to do against the opponents, and then last week in the 12th hour before kick-off we lost Luke Matheson. It is something we have to deal with, but more importantly we have to deal with the opposition, which is Leyton Orient.

"Luke's recovering and we're hoping he'll be back available at the weekend.

"I don't think there's anyone unavailable from last Saturday's fixture injury-wise, though we have had one or two illness situations develop since the weekend."

Talking about the young players getting opportunities in recent times, he continued: "I was surprised after the game when I realised there were nine players 20 or under involved. I just feel it's the right thing to do for the future of the football club.

"Harvey Cribb was out with a dead leg, maybe thigh strain, but he's one player who will make a big impact between now and the end of the season when fit and available. One thing we don't want to do with young players is for them to get fatigue injuries that become worse - not career-threatening ones but injuries that can hold their development back.

"I'm pretty pleased with the nucleus of the young players, the way we're trying to guide and educate them. For me, it's not about football education, it's about lifestyle education, non-negotiables and footballing values in and out of possession. I'm trying to make sure they're set for next pre-season, where everything I'm asking them to do as a group becomes automatic. If they accept the challenges and demands, and the way I want to play, then they'll be very successful.

"We still have five games to go. We want to represent the club, and the values of the paying supporters home and away. That's our intention going to Leyton Orient. I'm very proud of the way they've backed me and the team, and I know they'll continue to do that."

See much more from Keith Hill and Dan Gallimore on iFollow Iron.


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