Accrington Stanley boss Cook ready to take it steady with Schofield
ACCRINGTON Stanley boss Paul Cook has warned that Danny Schofield will need time to build up match fitness following his arrival on loan from Rotherham – with the midfielder set to start from the bench at Dagenham and Redbridge tomorrow.
Cook hopes Schofield – with vast experience of League One and Championship football with Huddersfield, Yeovil and Millwall – could prove a key addition to his Stanley squad after snapping the 32-year-old up on a three-month loan deal this week.
But the Stanley boss also knows that Schofield has not played a competitive match since May, dropping out of first-team contention at Rotherham following Steve Evans’ arrival as manager at the end of last season.
“He’s a very experienced player, he’s got good pedigree, he’s played for good clubs and he’s a good lad,” Cook said.
“The downside is he’s going to need a bit of game time. He hasn’t had a lot of match fitness.
“It’s not going to be an immediate impact where he goes into the team and it’s, ‘Wow!’.
“It will be a gradual progression where after a month or six weeks we see the real Danny.
“We’ve got the two holding midfield positions and the four more advanced positions. Apart from the striking position he can play any of them.
“He’ll be sub at Dagenham and hopefully if things go well we can bring on that experience.”
The Reds fielded a team with an average age of just over 23 in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Bradford and Cook felt his side were tactically naive during the first half of the match, sticking too rigidly to the game plan despite the visitors’ decision to defend.
He added experience by bringing Rommy Boco back to the club on August 31 and believes Schofield could also play an important role.
“We have been trying to bring in experience, people who can play but also benefit the squad,” Cook said. “Going back to the Bradford game, they came with a game plan to stop us playing and it worked for them in the first half.
“The midfield area was that crowded it was hard to pass through it. It’s not the nicest football in the world but we had to miss midfield and it took us until half time to address that.
“Really with players of Danny’s experience on the pitch you’d like to think we could address that much quicker.”
Stanley sit fifth in League Two after winning first two away league matches, at Southend and at Cheltenham.
Tomorrow’s opponents are currently third bottom but Cook has played down Stanley’s strong start on their travels.
“By the time you get to the end of the season you’ll have won away, you’ll have lost away, you’ll have won at home, you’ll have lost at home,” he said. “I don’t look at it, I just look for points on the board and the final league position.”