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Trialists to feature against West Midlands duo

16 July 2014

Boss confirms between four and seven trialists will feature in next two games.

Manager Paul Cox says that up to seven trialists could feature in our upcoming pre-season friendly matches against Aston Villa and Birmingham City – both at One Call Stadium.

Our team, who looked impressive during a 3-1 victory over Notts County last weekend, host Premier League Villa tomorrow night (Thursday 17 July) and Lee Clark’s Birmingham on Saturday (19 July).

Looking ahead to the two matches, our boss said: “It’ll be very different to [the Notts County] game. [Aston Villa] are a Premier League club with a number of players who’ve been at the top level for a number of years

“[The match will] give us a different game with different tests and as long as we’re getting something out of it then it’ll be a positive run out for us.

“We know that Villa are going to have a lot of possession and it’s a situation where over the next two games we’re going to have a number of trialists.

“We want to have a look at them, but I also want to be questioning our shape, our fitness levels, our desire and all the [other] little things that these games will test.”

Asked how many trialists could feature tomorrow night, Cox continued: “We’ve got a number that are training with us at the minute and I anticipate that over the next two games, there will probably between four and seven that we’re going to have a look at.

“We’ve got to be prudent with the timescale that we give them over the two games, because we want to get the lads that are already signed here a number of minutes on the park.

“We’ll try and ramp it up a little bit with the Leeds United game, Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, etcetera, but we want to get a lot out of these fixtures.”

Tomorrow’s match could see two of Villa’s summer signings, Joe Cole and Keiran Richardson – both ex-England internationals – make their first appearance for the West Midlands outfit.

“I think it’s a great game for the supporters,” added Cox. “Hopefully, they’ll come out, as they normally do, and support us and see an entertaining game.

“The last time a Premier League cub was here was the Liverpool game. The stands were packed; there was a great atmosphere inside the ground and it was a good football match.

“So we want to make it a good test for ourselves, but I’m aware now that we’ve had two good results and good performances, but I want teams to ask questions about us.

“I’d rather get all the ‘nitty-gritty [things]’ out of the way before the season starts and that’s why we’ve picked the opposition that we have.”

In team news, Ryan Tafazolli is expected to miss the next two matches due to an ankle injury he picked up in the win over Notts County, whilst fellow centre-back Luke Jones is rated as 50/50.

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