'Scunthorpe are a very good side who have been in the top three all year'
Good evening everyone and welcome back for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy game against Scunthorpe. This is an important competition for us and we have worked very hard to get to this stage. Having reached the final last season, we know more than most clubs what the rewards can be if you do well in the Trophy, so we will be giving it every bit as much focus and attention as any other game this season.
Scunthorpe are a very good side who have been in the top three all year, so we expect a tough game, just like we had at their place a few weeks ago in the fog. There wasn’t much to choose between us that day so hopefully that leads to an exciting cup game for you this evening.
That game was at the start of what has been an excellent little run for us in all competitions, continued by the win at Rotherham on Saturday.
I thought we definitely deserved to win that game. Having dominated the first half, when we had enough chances to put the result beyond our hosts, we had to endure a little bit of a tougher time at the start of the second half. That’s no surprise when you are playing against a Championship side on their own ground, but there is a real strength of character starting to emerge in this group and we didn’t let our heads drop at all when it went to 1-1.
Instead, that equaliser just made us even more determined and we came back very strongly to take the game away from Rotherham. Phil Edwards has always had a habit of nicking goals at set pieces and did well to make it 2-1 and then I thought the goal that Kane Hemmings scored was an outstanding team effort that really showed what we are all about.
Once again, it was in front of a magnificent away crowd who sang and chanted all afternoon. That makes such a difference and we know you have bought every available ticket for Wimbledon on Saturday, which will be another terrific occasion.
On the injury front, we welcomed Liam Sercombe back on Saturday. It has been a remarkable recovery for him to be back in the squad so quickly but Procs, Scott and all the medical team do an excellent job and having Liam back is a big boost for us as we go in to the second half of the season, still fighting on three fronts. On a similar note, it was good to extend Charlie Raglan’s loan until the end of the season because he has done well for us and we know will push very hard for a more regular starting place.
One or two other players may get their chance to show what they can do tonight as well, but we want to keep the momentum going and make progress in this competition. There may not be the biggest crowd here but we know you will be right behind us.
Enjoy the game,
You can get the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc
including chairman Darryl Eales' forthright and hard-hitting notes.