Salford City pick-up their League Two campaign with a visit to Scunthorpe United on Saturday (KO 15:00)
After an exciting win against Leeds United Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy and FA Cup success away at Dagenham & Redbridge, The Ammies hope to kickstart their league season with a visit to bottom side Scunthorpe.
It was an eight-goal thriller when Salford entertained a Leeds youth side, with midfielder Donald Love recording his first 90 minutes in red after returning from a slight injury, and he is hoping to work his way into Gary Bowyer’s plans.
“I think I needed those minutes because I’ve been coming back from a thigh strain injury, so I was glad to get out there, the Gaffer knows I’m there if needed.”
Salford’s televised first-round FA Cup provided another opportunity as Love made an appearance from the bench in an attempt to solidify the midfield late on and secure the 1-0 win.
“We kind of knew that it would be tough going there, with it being on the TV, they were obviously going to put everything into it. Those can sometimes be the games, where you know you haven’t played at your best but you grind it out when everyone’s working for each other, they’re usually the best wins.
“I know the situation coming on, it’s 1-0 and we have to see the game out. It was our mission to make sure we get on that bus home going through to the next round.”
Since signing in the summer, Love has settled well in M7 and has high praise of his new colleagues. Having previously played in England’s top three divisions the 26-year-old is enjoying his first spell in League Two has made two appearances from the bench. In a squad stricken with injuries of late, Love is eager to impress once given his opportunity;
“They are a great set of lads and a great changing room in general. It’s been a good experience so far but hopefully I can get on the pitch a bit more and keep enjoying my football.
“It’s the same with any team, when the squad starts to pick up injuries it’s a chance to step up and take your opportunity. We’ve seen recently a few of the lads have come in and taken theirs so hopefully I’ll get mine at some point. I’ve got to go in and prove it!”
Predominantly a right-sided player, the former Manchester United man has been deployed in the middle of the park by the Manager which is something Love has been learning to adapt to. The difference in position is a challenge he is welcome to accept, and he understands that as a versatile footballer he has to be ready to play whenever called upon.
This weekend’s opposition could allow Salford to improve their current away form of just one win from a possible six on the road.
The trip to Glanford Park won’t be easy as The Irons have recently appointed new manager Keith Hill, who will take charge of his first league game this Saturday after the Lincolnshire side parted ways with former boss Neil Cox last week.
“We aim to go there and get the win but every game is difficult. Their new manager Keith Hill who has come in quite recently, he’s been in the game a while and a lot of the lads know what his teams play like so hopefully that will help us get the three points.”
Salford are still without a number of key personnel including Tom King, Tom Elliott, Ash Hunter and Matty Willock, while Ibou Touray and Tyreik Wright are away on international duty. However Marcus Dackers and Kevin Berkoe have been re-called from loan spells, and Theo Vassell’s registration has happened in time for him to be available for selection.
Saturday’s game is available to live stream from anywhere due to the international break. Click here for more details about how to watch the action at the Sands Venue Stadium.