Brian Laws wants Scunthorpe United to be more patient at Walsall
Scunthorpe United will give defender David Mirfin until the last possible minute to prove his fitness ahead of tonight's game at Walsall.
The Iron centre-back took a bang on his knee and fell awkwardly during the closing stages of Saturday's FA Cup exit at Gillingham, but boss Brian Laws will reassess the injury later today.
"He was sore over the weekend but it got better as Monday went on," explained the United manager, who rated Mirfin's chances of playing as '70-30 in his favour'.
"We'll make a late judgement call on him.
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"That's the way football is at the moment, we've got to wait and see.
"He's an important player, so we'll give him time and every opportunity to play the game.
"It's a bonus there's nothing serious, it's just a bit of bruising. I'm sure he can play through that pain barrier."
Tonight's match pits two of League One's most out-of-form teams together.
Both the Iron and Walsall are without a win in eight games in all competitions, despite the Saddlers sitting 13th in the table.
Although pleased with the way Scunthorpe played during the opening 45 minutes of Saturday's FA Cup clash at Gillingham, Laws said the way they capitualted after going a goal down at the Priestfield Stadium bore all the hallmarks of a side struggling for confidence.
He is keen for them to show a bit more patience in the West Midlands should they fall behind.
"What the players have got a habit of doing is chasing the game," said Laws, who will welcome on-loan duo Leon Clarke and David Prutton back into his squad for the game against the Saddlers.
"They try to score almost immediately and are leaving themselves open to a counter-attack, especially when the opposition are quite hot.
"They've lost their patience – that was one of the things that was quite evident on Saturday.
"We had to be patient. If we did concede, so what? There was plenty of time to get one back if we were patient with our build-up.
"Walsall aren't a bad side but they are a team we shouldn't fear.
"Hopefully we can see a little bit more of what we saw in the first half on Saturday and carry that into the second half.
"This is where the pressure starts mounting regarding getting some wins.
"It's vital we start taking points off the teams in and around us to make sure we're top of the mini league we're going to find ourselves in.
"I've set myself little targets, particularly with points tallies.
"Sharing those with the players can go both ways, sometimes if you don't achieve it there's more pressure on.
"I know what we need to do and as long as they see I know what I'm doing, it'll work.
"The only target I set them is to start winning games. It's as simple as that."