Interim Iron first team manager Tony Daws has previewed Saturday's home game against Maidstone United at Glanford Park (3pm kick-off).

Firstly, the boss sung his praises for the under 18s, who battled hard and suffered a narrow FA Youth Cup second round exit at Barnsley on Thursday night. He said: “That was their fourth game in the FA Youth Cup this season, so they’ve done ever so well to get to round two - a 2-1 defeat away at Barnsley who are category two and a big club. Our lads took the lead and I think we were better in the first half, although they [Barnsley] came out stronger in the second.

“I thought the lads played really well and they’re a credit to themselves, the football club, and the academy. I think we did more than enough to go into extra time, and we possibly did enough to even win the game. I’m gutted that we got knocked out but well done to the lads, they were fantastic.” 

He added: “If you look at last season the lads did ever so well to get to Manchester United in round three, and they’ve done well this season. It’s certainly been different, but Rob Watson and Andy Butler, who are taking the youth team, are great people and Scunthorpe through and through, they’re great with the lads and great development coaches so well done to the staff as well.” 

Maidstone have conceded the most goals in the league this season, and Daws believes exploiting that will be key for his attacking Iron side. He added: “We’ve got to be right in how we play, we can’t take this for granted, and we must respect the opposition. We have to keep our back door closed in terms of not conceding goals, it’s all good steaming forward but you don’t want to be caught on the counter and beat 1-0.

“If we play like we can then we have the players that can cause problems for most teams in this league, as we did against Wrexham the other night. If we can get the front three working like they can, then hopefully we’ll create those goal scoring chances and take them.”

The interim manager also provided an update on Kgosi Ntlhe, who was substituted off on Wednesday night: “Sadly, Kgosi has a hamstring tear so that’s going to keep him out. The medical team have told me it’ll be between four and six weeks, which I think is standard for hamstring injuries. It all depends how that reacts and how he rehabilitates from that. Kgosi is a blow and a loss for us as he’s a great lad and infectious for us around the changing room and training pitch. I’m disappointed that we’re going to lose him but that’s how it goes and it presents an opportunity for someone else to take a chance.”

Finally, Tony spoke about Reagan Ogle, who missed the midweek game: “Reagan’s improving but I think this weekend will be too early for him. Hopefully, he’ll be training next week with a view to being good to go next Saturday. There’s no other fresh injury worries at this stage.”

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