Alexander says the FA Cup is still magical ahead of tough Northampton test

Graham Alexander has admitted he is expecting a tough game against surprise League One strugglers Northampton Town in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup this afternoon.

The Iron travel to Sixfields buoyed by a 3-2 win over in form Oldham Athletic last Saturday and Alexander is hoping his side can continue the good run of form against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men, who have won two on the bounce and look to be turning around their poor early season form under the former Burton managers guidance.

“It is a tough encounter to go to any opponent, especially in the same division and I’m sure Northampton won’t disappoint us in that aspect,” Alexander told the Scunthorpe Telegraph.

“It is another game for us to go and win in another competition and we want to continue our run of form especially from the league”.

Alexander also admitted that the FA Cup is still a special competition in English Football, despite perhaps losing some of its glamour in recent years.

“There is still a buzz about the FA Cup for people who love English football. It is littered with great stories of giant killings and of unexpected cup wins.

“As a player and supporter you want to be a part of that at some stage.

“Those that have had that opportunity they can look back on it for the rest of their lives and for those who haven’t had the opportunity they can go and do it – that’s the beauty of the competition.

“It is exciting to be in a cup draw wondering who you might get and there is a bit of magic around the unknown.

“But what we do know is we have a very tough opponent in front of us on Saturday and we have to win that before we think about anything else.”

Scunthorpe enter the game slight 6/4 favourites against the Cobblers who are currently sat in League One’s relegation zone and you can take advantage of the best betting offers with the bookmakers ahead of the tie. The Iron will be without Conor Townsend for the trip who is still struggling with an unknown injury, whilst Neal Bishop may miss out with a muscle injury. Meanwhile Clayton Lewis is pushing for another start following his debut goal on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy.

“Conor has not trained and it is dragging on longer than we expected,” Alexander explained. “We might get a second opinion because we are struggling to find exactly what is wrong as he is still complaining of a discomfort somewhere. We have to try and nail that down if we can.

“The stats from Clayton on Tuesday were fantastic and he really surprised us and that is every credit to the work he has done in the last month.

“Bish strained a muscle between his ribs so we first made sure he hadn’t broken any and an x-ray came back clear but he is still in a bit of discomfort.

“He has done some light training but there has been no serious damage and just a sore one.

“Bish doesn’t like missing a training session never mind a game but we have to play people who are 100 per cent right.”

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Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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