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Jimmy Dean: It's another one of those pivotal fixtures

14 November 2023

First team manager Jimmy Dean is looking forward to taking his side to King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday night, as the Iron look to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

United come off the back of back-to-back wins, registering 2-0 victories against Banbury United and Gloucester City, respectively.

Speaking about the Linnets, he said: “I think they’re a good outfit. They’ve obviously changed manager recently.

“They’re well financed, which is why Adam has gone there, and they’re professional. He had a side in the play-offs (Curzon Ashton), but he’s obviously gone there because King’s Lynn are a lot more ambitious and well-financed, with a better playing squad.

“He’s in the transitional period of putting his marker down, and I think they’ll try and set up similar to what Curzon did. They’ll defend their own half in a 3-4-3 with men behind the ball, and look to play on the break. It’s another tough test away from home on a Tuesday night.”

United lured two of King’s Lynn’s key players from the Walks in the summer, following their narrow failure to gain promotion after finishing second. Adding former player Ross Barrows to that equation, who was recruited from Altrincham, there will be a few familiar faces returning to their former stomping ground this evening.

“Logistically, King’s Lynn is a side that’s close to me, so I looked at them under Tommy and Cully, and they’ve always done things properly, with good sides and good players,” he continued.

“It’s why we targeting Ross Barrows, Tyler Denton and Michael Clunan, because I knew first hand what these boys could do.

“They’ve always recruited really well, with a good process, and always played the game properly. I hope the three boys that have come from there helps us, because I can’t imagine they’re going to want to go back and not get a positive result, especially taking their captain. 

“I’m sure it will add a little bit of spice to the game.”

While the Iron are five unbeaten, they also picked up their first win on the road since August seven days ago. The game in Norfolk represents the opportunity to make that back-to-back away wins, something United haven’t done since December 2020.

“Back-to-back away wins would be fantastic,” he stated. 

“It’s another one of those pivotal fixtures. When I looked at this run, I thought this would probably be the acid test - the difficult one. That’s not just because they’re well financed, or because they finished second last season, or the players they’ve got, but because stylistically they will make it difficult for us. 

“We’ve got to be patient. We’ve got to understand that, if we don’t get the early goal, we don’t chase it like we did at Curzon. We chased a little bit too hard and left ourselves open, and in the end it was one counter-attack that cost us.”

Included in the team of the week, Jacob Butterfield was withdrawn after winning the penalty that sealed the win at the weekend with a virus, with Dean updating on him, and the players out with injuries.

“Jacob trained on Monday,” he said. 

“He’s obviously not 100 per cent, but he’s trained. He’s a proper professional, so he will do the things he needs to do. It’ll probably be one of those games where you need that little bit of magic, or a goal from range, which is something he’s well-versed in this season. It’s important that we get him on the pitch.

“Danny Elliott trained on Monday as well, so he’s available for selection. Alfie Beestin has reacted really well to his second injection, so we’re just counting down the days now.

“Reagan Ogle has come in a lot better. The medical team have said he’s 50-to-60 per cent better off with his movements. We’ll have a bit more information on him later in the week once we’ve had his scan results.”

With just under 4,200 at Glanford Park at the weekend, and a healthy away following week-in, week-out, the Scunthorpe boss reserved his final words for the supporters.

“It’s a real privilege to represent the fans, and I mean that,” he added. 

“The players feel that as well. It was the highest attendance on Saturday in the country across Step Two. The second, third and fourth attendances added together didn’t add up to our 4.200 that we got, so credit to them. We’re pushing the crowds in Step One as well.

“We’ve got to keep striving to make them proud, playing for the badge, and I know they’ll stick with us.”

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