PNE must beware hot Sheff

Gary McSheffrey on the ball for Scunthorpe

Gary McSheffrey on the ball for Scunthorpe

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Injury-hit Scunthorpe hope in-form winger Gary McSheffrey can whip up a storm against North End tomorrow.

The League One new boys lost their opening-day clash against Swindon 3-1 but they bounced back by causing a major cup upset on Tuesday night.

Scunny beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park and sent the Championship outfit crashing out of in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

McSheffrey played a huge part in the victory as his fierce cross was glanced in by Neal Bishop at the near post.

And former PNE player and Iron boss Russ Wilcox believes the result will boost them ahead of tomorrow’s clash. He said: “We will take the positives from the game, which is that we won a football match away from home while keeping a clean sheet.

“It will give us confidence going into the Preston game, which will be a really tough fixture as they made the play-offs last year.”

Scunny midfielder Dave Syers has been ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury against Swindon, and full-back Marcus Williams is currently serving a three-match ban after being sent off against the Robins.

Due to injury problems, player/coach Andy Dawson slotted in at left-back against Rovers and is expected to start against PNE.

And Wilcox praised former Coventry and Birmingham winger McSheffrey for his performance and for retaining his hunger for the game.

He said: “From day one, Gary’s been on it. He’s very, driven to get his career moving again in the right direction.

“He is a quality player, his delivery of the ball is outstanding but his work-rate without the ball is also excellent. He’s bought into what we want to do.

“I’ve said to him that whether I throw out a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 on Saturday, it shouldn’t make a lot of difference to him.

“He looks in fantastic shape and I’m really pleased for him.

“Sometimes when you see people who have played in the Premier League drop down into League One or Two, they lose that bit of drive and desire.

“He’s showing that in abundance at the moment.

“You can speak as much as you like about systems, but sometimes it just comes down to one moment or great delivery.

“There were many examples of it last season by McSheffrey – his delivery is going to be a big part of our game this season.”

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