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Jimmy Dean: It's a game we're going to have to be up for

20 October 2023


Jimmy Dean: It's a game we're going to have to be up for

20 October 2023

Back in the building following a couple of weeks away due to major surgery, first team manager Jimmy Dean has been boosted by being in upbeat surroundings as the Iron prepare to travel to Chester on Saturday.

The gaffer had been absent during his recovery, which also prevented him from attending the 1-0 home win over Brackley Town, but he’s looking forward to being back in the dugout tomorrow afternoon.

“I’ve been in a couple of days this week, just trying to manage the load,” he said. 

“The be honest, the operation took me a little bit by surprise and I had an infection in the first week. The medication is pretty strong too, so I’ve been managing it.

“It’s fantastic to be back. It’s great being around the place. There’s a really good feel and a good atmosphere, and hopefully we can transfer that into tomorrow’s performance.”

While not at Glanford Park for the dawn of the new era, Dean was sat rather uncomfortably in bed while watching the game. Jacob Butterfield’s free-kick winner did relieve the pain for a short while in the knowledge his side had picked up maximum points in his absence.

Reflecting on the encounter, he continued: “We probably just edged it, like we did in the FA Cup game here in terms of territory and chances. Jacob did what he does from a footballing perspective - it was a great goal. 

“From an emotional perspective, it was pretty amazing. It was the only cheer I made that week, because I was in an awful lot of pain. My wife thought I fell out the bed when the goal went in.

“The guys have done a great job, the players have done a great job, and the outpouring of support just reminds us how privileged we are to have this football club, and for me to be involved in this football club.”

With the majority of the football schedule in doubt this weekend due to Storm Babet, our hosts Chester remain confident that the game can still go ahead, with only a precautionary pitch inspection scheduled for 9am on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a wet one. I think they expect it to be played, but we will have to see how it pans out,” he stated. 

“It’s going to be a really difficult game. They’ve won four and drawn one of their home games, and they beat Hartlepool last week, who are doing well in the National League.

“It’s one we’re going to have to be up for, and we’ve got to be at it to get something there for sure. They’re a big football club for this level. They’ve got a good manager and play a good brand of football, with some good players.”

United come into the match without a game since that win over Brackley a fortnight ago. That situation suited the Scunthorpe boss’ recovery, although from a momentum point of view, a game last weekend might have been preferable.

“The two weeks was perfect for me, but with winning the game, it would have probably been nice to have another straight up, but the flip of that is that we’ve had so many injured players,” he added. 

“It’s been nice seeing them back on the grass and we can start putting 11-v-11s on, which is a really important part of what we want to do, and we’ve not been able to do that for months.

“There are players really close now to coming back. Alfie (Beestin) will be back the week after next, Maxi Kouogun and Mikey Clunan will be back in full training next week. Cal Roberts is running on the grass, which is really pleasing to see after what the boy has been through.

“The only real negative is Fin Shrimpton, who rolled his ankle in the gym. He’s going to have a scan and see where he’s at with it.

“Jason Law has trained this week. We had a training game on Monday and he’s done well. He looks sharp too, considering the time he’s had out, and he will be travelling with us tomorrow."

While the Iron are on the road this weekend, the United gaffer spoke on the support that will be required at Glanford Park week-in, week-out in the near future, not just benefiting the players on the field of play, but the club as a whole.

“I spoke to Michelle about this, and I don’t want to stand on her toes too much, but she’s taken on an awful lot here, and she’s done it to make sure this community has got a football club,” he said. 

“There’s a big financial burden at her door, and I really know she needs the support of everyone. If you’ve got a spare £15-20 to support our club, we need you to do it to help get us through these times.

“She will find a way. She’s a resilient lady and her and the Board are doing a fantastic job. That’s my message. She stood up when no one else was going to. She needs help now, not just backing, from our fanbase to keep us moving and keep us going.

“Win, lose or draw come and support us - especially in the next few months while the club makes some adjustments to put itself in a more sustainable model. She’s picked up a baton and it’s a really heavy one, and she is going to need that support from everyone to make sure we’re okay. There’s no doubt in my mind that she will get that.”

Dean’s final words were reserved for the travelling support tomorrow, which sold out in just a couple of hours.

“450 was never enough for us, was it?! They’ve got restrictions in place, so it’s good to have been given that many,” he stated. 

“It’s such a fantastic fanbase. The away travel is up there with EFL clubs. They just want something to cheer.

“We’re two points off top of the league, we’ve got games in hand over two teams above us, we’ve got players coming back in, we’ve got new owners. Hopefully, we get the ground sorted, and hopefully the next few months are going to be fun, we start winning some football matches, starting being able to focus on the football and making them happy.”

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