Ahead of Scunthorpe United's visit to SJP on Saturday, Sam Moakes has picked out three Iron-men to watch out for.
So here's a chance to familarise yourself with the claret and blue dangermen.
One player who is looking solid, as much as you can be in a side with a -23 goal difference, this season is Manny Oniarise. The 6’2” central defender has started 19 matches for the Iron this year, scoring in a 2-2 draw away at Carlisle. As far as his previous clubs are concerned, there’s a whole lot of red badges.
Getting his first professional starts for Cheltenham, originally on loan from Brentford, Onariase then moved to Rotherham, subsequently being loaned to Cheltenham again. A loan spell at Dagenham & Redbridge preceded a permanent move in 2019, where he made 63 appearances for the Daggers.
An undisclosed fee brought him to Scunthorpe, but the defender only played 29 games last year due to hernia issues. This season, despite Scunthorpe’s poor defensive record, Onariase has looked solid enough to be a mainstay in the side’s defence.
Once again, I’m in the unenviable position of picking some players to look out for in a struggling side. This choice is not a difficult one, however, as Miles Hyppolyte is the only player currently at the club to have scored more than three goals this season after Ryan Loft’s departure.
His six goal contributions – four goals and two assists – have proved crucial, providing the difference in the Iron’s crucial recent win over Oldham, draw at Stevenage and the victory over Crawley. In fact, Scunthorpe have not found a win this season without a goal contribution from Hippolyte, as he also netted against Tranmere in August.
This is impressive as Hippolyte isn’t even a striker, he plays on the left. Considering this is his first playing opportunity in the Football League, having previously played most of his football in Scotland, Hippolyte is impressing in a struggling side, vastly improving on his one goal return from last year.
One bright spark this year has been the emergence of Tom Pugh – if you’re not having the best of seasons, then you may as well give the young blood a go.
A midfielder by trade, Pugh has featured a lot on the right in his breakthrough league campaign, though he did make an appearance in the Iron’s final game of the season last year and a number of Football League Trophy appearances.
Pugh has already shown himself to have a bright future, starting 15 of the 24 matches played so far. The midfielder hasn’t yet scored for Scunthorpe, but he has for his national side – he made his debut for Wales U21’s in May 2019, scoring on his debut against Albania. Pugh is one of a number of youngsters featuring for Scunthorpe, including midfielder Jai Rowe and Hayden Hackney.