Eddie Nolan is up to speed ahead of first Scunthorpe United start in nine months
FULL-back Eddie Nolan has impressed Russ Wilcox with his level of fitness since he has returned to Glanford Park.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Preston defender played the whole 90 minutes of Scunthorpe United’s friendly at Stoke City yesterday and now seems almost certain to be handed a start for the first-team against Hartlepool United this coming weekend.
Nolan has only officially been an Iron player for the past fortnight, having signed non-contract forms on the back of impressing boss Brian Laws while training with the club.
He came off the bench to replace Callum Kennedy, who has torn his hamstring, for the final seven minutes of last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Yeovil and, according to Wilcox, is in good enough ‘nick’ to start against Pools.
“Eddie played 90 minutes at Stoke,” United’s assistant manager told the Telegraph.
“We’d have liked him to have had a little run at right-back, but Josh Lacey came with us and played so he stayed on the left.
“We actually put him in centre midfield for the last 15 minutes to give him a bit more physical work and he looked in good nick.
“Credit to him. To say he's not played this season he's impressed me in training.
“You would have thought he'd have been way off speed, but he's not.
“He got a little taster on Saturday and I'm sure now he'll want a little bit more.”
Wilcox said Nolan’s defensive team-mate Christian Ribeiro was ‘absolutely fine’ after playing an hour of the game at the Britannia Stadium – his first football in a month as he recovers from a hamstring problem.
“I said to him (Ribeiro) before the game that he was pencilled in for what suited him really – sometimes you have to give responsibility to the player. They know their own body,” Wilcox added.
“He was pencilled in for a maximum of 45 minutes, but it wasn't really a high tempo game where he had to do a lot of bombing up and down so we asked him at half-time if he wanted to do another 15 and he said yes.”