TEAM PREVIEW: Scunthorpe United – Chris Hope believes his former side can challenge this season

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Scunthorpe didn’t have the easiest time of it last season but they’ve wasted no time in bringing in three players who were all part of Preston’s promoted side last season. Under Mark Robins, Scunthorpe seem better prepared for a challenge this time around.

Last Season: League One (16th)

Manager: Mark Robins

 

Squad

GKs: Luke Daniels, Joe Anyon
DFs: Scott Wiseman, Scott Laird, David Mirfin, Niall Canavan, Charlie Goode, Andrew Boyce, Jordan Clarke
MFs: Sean McAllister, Dave Syers, Neal Bishop, Terry Hawkridge, Stephen Dawson, Hakeeb Adelakun, Jack King, Isaac Assenso, Jamie Ness, Gary McSheffrey, Levi Sutton
FWs: Luke Williams, Paddy Madden, Kevin van Veen, Tom Hopper, Kyle Wootton

 

Transfers

In: Isaac Assenso (Leeds United), Stephen Dawson (Rochdale), Charlie Goode (Hendon), Jack King (Preston North End), Scott Laird (Preston North End), Scott Wiseman (Preston North End), Tom Hopper (Leicester City), Luke Williams (Middlesbrough), Jamie Ness (Stoke City)

Out: Callum Howe (Released), Miguel Llera (Released), Eddie Nolan (York City), James Severn (Released), Sam Slocombe (Oxford United), Matt Sparrow (Lincoln City), Marcus Williams (Released), Billy Kee (Accrington Stanley), Jennison Myrie-Williams (Released), Lyle Taylor (AFC Wimbledon)

 

First Six: Burton Albion (A), Crewe Alexandra (H), Wigan Athletic (A), Millwall (H), Colchester United (A), Blackpool (H)

Likely Lineup: (4-4-2) Daniels – Clarke, Mirfin, Canavan, Laird – Hawkridge, McAllister, Syers, Dawson – Madden, Williams

 

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A word from…Chris Hope

On his time at Scunthorpe Great memories to get a regular opportunity at league football. Richard Monday gave me the opportunity, he gave me no guarantees but said I’d be part of the first team squad and that was good enough for me.

It’s a great little club, logistically, it’s a bit out of the way but there’s some really loyal supporters down there and there’s always a really great atmosphere at Glanford Park. It didn’t always go well on the pitch and things didn’t always go brilliantly but I really enjoyed my time there.

On his 177 league game run of matches It was something I wasn’t really aware of until I got to 150 and someone mentioned it! I’ve always looked after myself with diet but there’s always an element of luck. There were a few games I was carrying a bit of an injury but I always played.

I’ve always prided myself on being solid and consistent. I was a defender who just did his job, I was never a 10/10 player, I was a solid 7 or 8 every week and I based my game around being a solid player. Funnily enough I went to Gillingham and went on a similar run!

On mentality of the football league There’s that added pressure now of more relegation spots from the football league now, there only used to be one. Nobody wants to drop out because the Conference is a tougher league than ever to get out of.

It might be more prevalent these days because squads are chopping and changing so much and you might just fall on something that works, and a lot of clubs suffer with injuries and inconsistency. It does bring a lot of ups and downs, at Scunthorpe we were always consistent and eventually we went up but the squad wasn’t strong enough and we came straight back down again!

We didn’t always have the financial backing to stay up and bring in the players we needed but the club did have some good players at one point and even went up to the Championship! You’re never going to compete with the big clubs in terms of money and crowds so you risk losing your better players if you do have some success.

On still following the club Of course. When you’ve been at the club so long it’s one of the first results you look out for! They’ve had a few difficult years and had some ups and downs, the chairman now has given them their backing with plans for a new stadium and some good new signings.

I think there’s a positive vibe around the place this year, the dynamic this season is different because in the past I don’t think the expectation has ever been there. I think this season that’s different because of the signings and because of the chairman and the club might expect to be up there challenging for promotion this season.

 

The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Whilst they may just lack a bit of quality in certain areas, Scunthorpe could find themselves at the very least challenging around the play-offs this season if things click into place.

Key Player: Niall Canavan – At just 24, the defender has already racked up over 150 appearances for Scunthorpe and is now they part of Scunthorpe’s defence.

One to Watch: Luke Williams – After a brief loan spell last season where he got 2 goals in 5 league games, Williams has re-joined on a permanent basis and could be a good replacement for Wimbledon-bound Lyle Taylor.

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