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Jimmy Dean looks ahead to Banbury away clash

7 November 2023


Jimmy Dean looks ahead to Banbury away clash

7 November 2023

First team manager Jimmy Dean was keen to make use of a free Saturday at the weekend, as his side’s game away at Blyth Spartans fell victim of Storm Ciaran.

With the game called off on Friday evening due to a waterlogged pitch, Dean and his staff quickly put a plan in place to ensure the players still got minutes in their legs ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.

“We had a training game on Saturday, 11 v 11,” he said, speaking ahead of the clash against Banbury United. 

“We played 70 minutes, and it was important to get some minutes into some of the other boys as well. 70 is a good amount of time, and keeps the boys ticking over.

“It was played to a pretty good standard, and we did it properly. We got a little bit out of it to be honest, so it wasn’t a bad thing.”

While he reaped benefits from the game at Blyth being off, preparations were completed ahead of the game, and the United boss felt they were in a good position to go and get the three points at the weekend, had they been on offer.

“I thought we were well set for Saturday, but Blyth did the responsible thing and called it early, so we weren’t messing around on Saturday morning,” he continued. 

“We appreciated that. It seemed the most sensible thing to do if the pitch was under water like they said. It allowed us to turn our attentions to Banbury pretty sharpish. I was going to do the cross country from Scunthorpe to Banbury, but obviously they were called off as well.”

In Banbury, Scunthorpe are set to face another table in the middle of the current league standings, although the side from Oxfordshire are currently in good form, searching for their third win on the bounce.

“They’re in mid-table, but they’re third in the form guide,” he stated. 

“They’ve won four of their last six, including their last two games. It’s a tricky Tuesday night away game. Again, it’s one where we’ve got to be on the front foot. We’ve got to do that a bit better than we did last Tuesday against Boston. We’ve got to apply ourselves properly, and we want to go there to win.”

Danny Elliott came off the bench a week ago to feature against his former club Boston United having missed a couple of games through an injury sustained at Chester. Despite this, the frontman has felt further pain from his clash with the Seals’ goalkeeper, leading to him being declared unfit to feature this evening.

“Danny Elliott had a reaction last Tuesday night,” Dean added. 

“He wouldn’t have been involved on Saturday. He won’t be involved in this game either. He went for an x-ray on Monday, which is his second, and it was all clear. We know it’s not a break, but it is sore and it is tender, but we just need to manage it. He’s targeting Thursday to come back into training, but we’re not going to let him do that unless we know it’s 100 per cent. He rushed back because he wants to be involved, and he’s seen the boys score lots of goals, and Danny wants to be part of that. 

“Alfie (Beestin) has progressed well. He’s probably down to two or three weeks of what he’s doing now. We actually think we’ve got an answer now, and that will be ticked off with a scan at the end of it. 

“Maxi (Kouogun) and Cal Roberts came through 70 minutes on Saturday. That’s what the game was for. Cal showed some wonderful glimpses of what he can do. I wouldn’t say he’s ready for 90 minutes just yet, but it was really important for him mentally that he got through that, and he’s had no reactions either physically to the old hamstring injury or the new ankle ligaments injury. Now it’s about getting minutes into him slowly, and building him back into the starting XI when he’s ready.

“He would have been involved in the matchday squad. We’d seen enough in training to know he could have done 20 or 30 minutes. It’s just getting his load right now, and that’s what it was about on Saturday. For him, Maxi, Tom Pugh, Fin Shrimpton, all coming back from injury, it was about seeing where they’re at with some decent minutes.

“For the likes of Michael Kelly as well, who are in every week, but aren’t getting the match minutes. It was important to get it in. It was a well-contested game, with lots of quality. It went really well.”

One of the longer trips for the Iron this season, and on a midweek slot too, Dean echoed his previous sentiments, and looks forward to the usual immaculate support on the road.

“These are the ones that our fans keep turning out in numbers,” he said.

“Banbury will be well supported. It’s a big game for them, as they normally are. We’ve got to anticipate, and react to that as a collective. Hopefully, if we do that, we can make it a good night for the travelling fans.”

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