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Jimmy Dean hoping to end pre-season on a positive note

29 July 2023


Jimmy Dean hoping to end pre-season on a positive note

29 July 2023

Ahead of the final pre-season showdown, First Team Manager Jimmy Dean reflected on the Iron’s first two home games of pre-season.

Reflecting on draws against League Two Doncaster Rovers and Championship Hull City, the United gaffer feels his side are exactly where they should be ahead of welcoming League One Burton Albion.

“The two home games so far have been very pleasing in the main,” he started.

“The shape, the transitions, the regains and the reactions to losing the ball is exactly where we want to be at this stage of pre-season. The Burton game is another test against a ball-playing side, so it’ll be a little bit different.

“I didn’t expect Hull to be as strong as that. We expected an Under-23s side and they rocked up with a first team squad. The boys reacted fantastically to the challenge and the crowd reacted fantastically to the boys working hard. It gave the players an insight into what life can be like here if they do well. The shape was really good and we kept the ball well. We kept it aggressively, we moved it quickly. You can see patterns developing, relationships developing on the pitch and there’s an energy about the team that we didn’t have before and it’s really pleasing.”

With the Brewers arriving at Glanford Park, Dino Maamaria's test presents the final opportunity for the players to make their mark ahead of the opening league game of the season in seven days time.

“It’s another tough game,” he stated. 

“I thought against Donny we were the better team and we really dug in against Hull. When you look at the balls in the box and the chances, there wasn’t a lot in it. The players deserve an awful lot of credit for how they’ve come in and reacted to the first two games of pre-season. It’s a real positive for me.”

With pre-season drawing to a close, Dean talked about the environment created over the last five weeks as he takes his side towards the competitive action.

“The environment is really positive and I’ve got to say, I really believe in what we’ve got in that dressing room,” he continued. 

“The work that Plums, Butts, Muzzy, Ant Coombe are doing with the boys. The physios are well on top of things and we only have the injury with Cal at the minute. Considering how hard we’ve worked them this season, to only have one injury - and it’s not a muscle, it’s a bang - is testament to the staff and the players.

“Last year when we first came in, we tried to inch it up quite a bit in terms of output in training and the injuries piled up pretty quickly. We didn’t deal well with the extra load. This year, so far so good.”

United lost midfielder Callum Roberts in midweek after 30 minutes to injury. Initially, it was feared that the former Newcastle United and Aberdeen attacker had suffered a fracture, but positive news was yielded from the subsequent x-ray.

“He went to hospital, had an x-ray and there was no fracture, so that was a real positive for us,” Dean declared.

“We want to get minutes into Cal. He’s come off the back of a bad injury. He’s a player with outrageous ability, especially for this level. He buys in, he works hard and when we get him on the pitch, we’ve got a real player on our hands. We’ve just got to look after him over the next week. We’re hoping he will be able to train on Monday. The medical team are happy with his progress.”

The Scunthorpe boss reserved a final word for the fans, with a total attendance of nearly 2,500 attending Glanford Park in midweek for the visit of the Tigers.

“It’s an incredible fanbase,” he added. 

“They’ve been behind us when we’ve been bad, really bad - when it was hard to see positives. In the main, they were gentle with us. They’ve had five years of losing games and I really hope that this year we will give them something to cheer about. I can only imagine this place will be a fantastic place to work, to play football, to go out if we give the town something to be proud of.”

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