Salford City prepare for a third away game in a row on Tuesday night at Scunthorpe United.
After Saturday’s scheduled game against Colchester was postponed due to a frozen pitch, The Ammies will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat at the start of 2021 in Lincolnshire.
January 2020 was the last time Salford lost three league games in a row, and this time it came off the back of a five-game unbeaten run to end 2020.
However speaking ahead of the weekend’s postponed game, manager Richie Wellens said that he was impressed with the way the players set about wanting to put the defeat at Mansfield Town right.
“I think the best thing is we watched the game back on Wednesday morning and then the players actually started to have their own dialogue about what they’re seeing, about what they can do better.
“As a coaching staff we can paint the pictures of what we believe, how the game’s going to turn out, that’s what we do, we try and coach them in terms of what the game’s going to offer us in possession and out of possession, and then it’s up to the players to obviously take that out.
“But I’m really pleased with the meeting on Wednesday morning because the players did start to speak up and have their own dialogue, and I’ve said before these are a good group of lads who do want to improve and do want to go forward.”
Tuesday will be Salford’s first visit to Scunthorpe after last season’s game fell victim to the early curtailment of the league, and this game itself is a re-arrangement after the original fixture was postponed due to a Covid outbreak at The Iron.
In our only previous meeting, Cameron Burgess’ header rescued a point in a 1-1 draw at The Peninsula Stadium in October 2019.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Salford, but one unidentified player is unavailable after testing positive for Coronavirus in last week’s mandatory EFL testing. The game comes too soon for Richie Towell and Darron Gibson, who both remain sidelined with injury.
It’s been another disappointing start to the season for Scunthorpe, who finished 20th last season following their relegation from League One in 2019.
Manager Neil Cox has had injuries to contend with that haven’t helped, notably to last season’s top scorer Kevin Van Veen who has made just five appearances, so the 49-year-old has had to field relatively youthful sides so far this season.
Nevertheless The Iron have acted briskly in the January window with former Premier League midfielder Jem Karacan signing until the end of the season, and defender George Taft joining on loan from Bolton Wanderers.
Wins have come at intervals for Scunthorpe, who were disappointed not to follow up a victory at Walsall with another at Stevenage, but like The Ammies their game at the weekend fell victim to the weather which may have given Cox an extra couple of days to prepare.
They are currently three points ahead of Grimsby in 23rd, albeit with a couple of games in hand, but it is crucial that The Iron start picking points up with the teams around them showing signs of improvement.
HOW TO WATCH
Tuesday night’s game is available to Salford supporters on live.salfordcityfc.co.uk for £10 in the UK and £7 overseas.