ECHOSPORT talks to keen Scunthorpe United fan Toby Skelton ahead of tonight's clash at Roots Hall.

What have you made of Scunthorpe's season so far?

"It’s been a very inconsistent start. Our previous manager Nick Daws only lasted four games before being sacked, which showed a clear lack of stability at the club.

"Under stuart McCall, any initial positivity has been washed away with wretched form as of late, and the inability to keep a lead for the whole 90 minutes is extremely frustrating.

"We’re also holders of the title of the League’s worst defence, with 40 goals conceded in 19 games, so the season definitely could’ve started better."

Scunthorpe are normally up challenging towards the top of the table but they're currently 18th in the standings. What's been going wrong?

"Indeed, we are usually contenders for at least the play offs.

"Our poor start can be attributed to one major factor in my opinion.

"Many of our best players from last season, notably Duane Holmes, Conor Townsend and Murray Wallace all left to join Championship teams, and their replacements definitely haven’t been up to scratch.

"There appears to be a lack of investment in the squad this season, and the shortage of quality is very much apparent."

What are the hopes for the rest of the season now?

"The hopes are to survive, no doubt as we are currently only three points clear of the relegation zone.

"However, a mid table finish and not being drawn into a relegation dogfight at the end of the season would be more than satisfactory."

Blues signed Tom Hopper and Sam Mantom from Scunthorpe at the end of last season. How were they viewed by Scunthorpe fans?

"Tom Hopper was always known for being a hard worker and coming up with crucial goals, and I believe we are paying the price for releasing him.

"He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but certainly he was a valuable asset to the side and definitely played a part in our play off campaigns in recent years.

"Sam Mantom was always enigmatic. He arrived with plenty of promise, but unfortunately his career at Scunthorpe was severely hampered by injuries, so we never really got to see him at his best.

"When fit, he showed glimpses of what we initially signed him for, but his exit was inevitable."

Who is the dangerman for Scunthorpe?

"Lee Novak is our dangerman. He’s been in good form as of late, chipping in with goals in each of our last three games, against Portsmouth, Bristol Rovers and Burton Albion in the FA Cup.

"While he may not be the fastest striker around, he makes up for this with his accurate positioning and anticipation of mistakes from goalkeepers or defenders, and his clinical eye for goal."

What's the team news for tonight's game?

"We are definitely restricted in terms of team news for our trip to Essex.

"Our best player of the season so far, Ryan Colclough has been ruled out for the season, key midfielder Funso Ojo picked up an injury at the weekend against Portsmouth and is unlikely to feature, and right back Jordan Clarke will be out for around a month more.

"Long term absentees Matt Gilks, Rory Watson and Levi Sutton remain sidelined.

"However, Josh Morris could be in line for a return, after coming back to the bench on Saturday for the first time in an awfully long time."

What's the predicted starting line-up for tonight?

"I’d anticipate there to be changes made for Tuesday’s game.

"My team would be: Alnwick, Goode, McArdle, Burgess, Butroid, Perch, Lund, Horsfield, Thomas, Novak and Dales."