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Pre-Alfreton Town team news and views from Jimmy Dean

1 September 2023


Pre-Alfreton Town team news and views from Jimmy Dean

1 September 2023

Having spoken to assistant manager Chris Plummer following Monday’s 4-1 win over Scarborough, we began our pre-match interview with the gaffer by getting his reflects on the victory.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the weekend, Jimmy Dean looked back to another memorable encounter at Glanford Park.

“It was a great win and a great day. It was only a Bank Holiday Monday football match but it felt like a fantastic occasion,” he said. 

“The fans came out in force and it was an amazing atmosphere. I thought the performance matched it.

“I keep going back to it, but even in the Peterborough Sports game, the performance was there for four or five goals, but we didn’t get that luck. Over the course of three home games, it’s exactly where we want to be. We’ve scored eight goals in the last two, and there probably should have been another four in the game before that.”

Coming just 30 hours after the side’s first defeat of the season, away at Curzon Ashton, Dean challenged his team for a response, and he got exactly that.

“That’s what I put to them,” he continued. 

“We’re going to have games like that. We’re going to lose games. In the main, every successful side, barring that Arsenal side are going to lose games, but it’s how we react to that. 

“We’ve been working on the mental side a lot with these players and I think they really showed a strong resilience against a good side. They came out and played football, and didn’t panic.”

United are back on the road for a third Saturday in a row, with Alfreton Town the next opponents. They’ve endured a mixed start, with three wins and three defeats from their six games, with the Scunthorpe manager expecting a challenge not too dissimilar from seven days prior.

“I think it’ll be a similar test to the Curzon one,” he stated.

“They’ve got similar traits and similar qualities. It’s up to us to find solutions. The most important thing is winning games away from home. We also need to try to get a little bit more control in these games as well if we can. 

“Alfreton have probably got the player with the longest throw-ins in the league, and we will need to do some work on that. We also need to find a way to impose our game, but we need to move the ball quicker and more intelligently around the box and better movement than we had against Curzon. We have to learn what went wrong in that game, and how we can improve on that.”

With a handful of players sitting out in recent weeks, Dean gave an update on the treatment table, and when we can expect to see United players return to training

“Cal Roberts is progressing well, but the physios want another week with him before he’s back in with the squad 100 per cent,” he began.

“Jason Law - we’ve had a bit of bad news from. He’s had a scan and he’s got a tear in one of his muscles in his thigh. We’re looking at potentially a couple of months with Jason now, which is not ideal.

“Mikey Clunan is having a scan today (Thursday), which will tell us where he’s at and whether it’ll be weeks or nothing at all. The terminology that the physio used was that after an initial upward curve, he’s plateaued a little bit with his recovery, so we need to know what’s happening with him.

“With Alfie Beestin, we’ve had some fantastic news. He was looking at six or seven weeks, but we’re now looking at a four-week term for his injury. We are holding him back a little bit because it’s a hamstring, but the four weeks leaves him two-and-a-half weeks from now until he’s back with us. Alfie is a big player for the football club and we missed him last year when he didn’t play, and we’ve lost our first game when he didn’t play this year.”

Having those players on the sidelines, the squad has looked a little thin over the last couple of games. Behind the scenes, Dean and David Hilton have been looking for reinforcements, with an addition or two not too far away.

“We’ve had Andy Butler as the 17th player on Saturday and Monday, so we’re going to try and get some help in for the lads if we can,” he added. 

“It’s got to be the right type and the right player, but I’ve been working on that with the chairman now for the past week.

“Maybe we will have some positive news on that in the next few days.”

As has become the norm, Dean finished his interview speaking about the support he and his side have received in recent weeks. With an away following in excess of 700 expected at the Impact Arena at the weekend, he’s looking forward to another healthy backing.

“Every week, I come in and say they’re amazing,” he stated. 

“I know I have to say it, but I mean it. What I would say is, the experiences I’ve had with them this season - the Darlington night game and Scarborough on Monday - I can say again what I said when I came through the door; it’s a privilege to be involved with a fanbase like this.

“Speaking to a few fans, a few are coming back who haven’t been here for a little while, and they’re going to keep coming back which is what we want. We’re doing well for them on the pitch, we’re playing good football. We talk about a 12th man, but it’s probably a 13th man. It’s that much of an advantage that they give us at home with the noise they make.

“They’re absolutely fantastic. It’s a privilege to represent them. All of us - myself, the players and staff - all know that and we’re hard every day to try and make them proud this season.”

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