Paul Reid and Akpo Sodje ready to return for Scunthorpe United against Coventry City
SKIPPER Paul Reid and striker Akpo Sodje could provide Scunthorpe United with a double boost ahead of Saturday’s clash with Coventry City.
The former is definitely fit for the weekend after finally shaking off a virus, while his team-mate may also ‘potentially’ return from an ankle injury.
Reid has missed the last three games and Sodje one less, but both took part in a practice match during training yesterday.
It leaves boss Brian Laws with a selection dilemma, particularly in defence.
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Although pointing out David Mirfin and Niall Canavan have done little wrong, the manager admits the captain will be a welcome return.
“They’ve done okay, but I think we’ve missed Reid’s leadership and organisation,” he said.
“He’s certainly going to be an important player for us between now and the end of the season, so I don’t think there’s any question that he’ll be coming back in the side.
“He just had a bit of a virus. It took him a little while to get over it, but now he’s fully fit and raring to go.
“It gives me a decision to make, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to make a decent decision.
“It will be an interesting one come the weekend.”
Sodje took a kick on the ankle in the Iron’s 3-0 defeat at Yeovil last month, and was substituted with just over an hour gone after struggling in the following game against Hartlepool.
Karl Hawley has ploughed something of a lone furrow in his absence, though Laws does have several attacking options, including Stoke City loanee James Alabi, as well as Mike Grella and Connor Jennings.
“We’ve got a wealth of attackers and strikers,” said Laws. “I would rather have a few more defenders to be fair, because we’re very thin on the ground.
“To say that we’ve only had one on the bench tells you we’ve got an issue there.
“But with Reid coming back, that strengthens that area and Sodje is strengthening the attacking side.
“I’ll certainly have options to think about, particularly attacking wise.
“Sodje is another positive, he’s trained this week.
“We had a practice game yesterday and he played in that, so we’re pleased with that.
“At least we know he’s another player who could potentially be available for the weekend.
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed that there are no other recurrences or any other issues and hopefully he’ll be fit for the weekend.”
Keeper Sam Slocombe meanwhile, has had a scan after Laws revealed at the weekend that he has been carrying a thigh strain.
“Sam is being monitored very, very carefully,” the manager added.
“He’s been able to do his work, but on the odd occasion where he’s had to kick off the ground he’s found it a little bit difficult.
“He’s obviously got a very high pain threshold , but I just thought Saturday was the one time where it was actually hurting him.
“We’re certainly going to rest him for the first few days of this week and then we’ll monitor him after that and see if we have to make a decision from there.”