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Analysis: How much will Scunthorpe miss Matt Lund?

Iron midfielder Matt Lund is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a leg injury against Peterborough on Saturday.

Lund was forced off the field midway through the second half, following a collision with Posh winger Siriki Dembele.

After the game, Stuart McCall revealed that the injuries to Lund and Josh Morris were not looking very promising:

“They don’t look good, to be honest. Lundy’s was a totally innocuous collision with (Sikiri) Dembele in the middle of the park. He’ll go for an x-ray on his ankle/tibia. It’s not looking good but until we get the results of the x-ray we’re not sure,” the Iron boss told the club’s website.

How has Lund got on this season?

The combative midfielder joined United from Burton Albion, having built up a reputation for himself in lower league football.

Lund’s opening few matches in claret and blue were certainly forgettable, as he struggled to get into games and really prove his worth to the side. There were many doubters of his ability out there.

However, since the arrival of McCall, the central midfielder has really stepped up his game and has now emerged as one of the managers first names on the team sheet, keeping the likes of James Perch out of the line-up.

How much will the Iron miss him?

This is not just a loss to the starting line-up or Scunthorpe’s hopes over the next few matches, but given the current lack of available options within the squad, the midfield is looking incredibly thin on the ground.

With fellow central midfielder James Horsfield still working his way back to full fitness and the versatile Morris set for a spell on the sidelines, that just leaves Perch and Funso Ojo as the only fit first-team midfielders in the engine room.

But to examine how much the Iron will actually miss Lund’s influence, we are going to take a look at a few stats of his performances, to show what he brings to the side.

This season, he has averaged 74 total actions per game for United, 54% of which have been successful. The Northern Ireland international is also the only one of United’s four central midfielders to register a goal or an assist this season, with one of each to his name.

Whilst Lund’s shot accuracy of 36% isn’t the best, it is higher than any other player in the same position at the club; he also takes the most shots, at 0.86 per game. Albeit in a bit part role, Horsfield is yet to register a shot on target, in all competitions. That will change with more game-time, though.

The former Rochdale man has an 80.1% pass accuracy this season, falling just 0.7% behind the excellent Ojo. He actually had a noteworthy 86% accuracy level against Posh, before he was forced off.

Although Lund has a reasonably low duels won percentage of 38.8% – he is quite dominant in the air – winning 61.9% of his aerial duels that he has gone up for this season. To go alongside that, he makes 4.85 interceptions per game, which is slightly more than midfield partner Ojo.

It appears Lund does have a habit of giving away the ball, though. The exuberant midfielder has lost the ball 10.01 times a game, 35.2% of which have been in his own half. However, he has made up for that with his 10.63 recoveries made, on average, with 47.8% of those coming in the opposition’s half.

Conclusion

The stats do not lie. Scunthorpe are certainly going to miss Matt Lund over the next few weeks/months, whatever his injury lay-off may turn out to be. He may have had a rocky start to life at Glanford Park, but the midfielder has certainly turned a corner in recent weeks, putting in a string of admirable performances.

Funso Ojo was clearly the Iron’s best player in the middle of the park last season, but on recent form, Lund looks capable of giving the Belgian a run for his money this campaign. It’s unfortunate to see him now sidelined with an injury, but hopefully, he isn’t out for too long and can come back fit and firing for the long season ahead.


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Written by James Murray

Aspiring journalist and Scunthorpe United fan studying at the London South Bank University.

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