PAUL Hurst has begun the process of slimming down the Scunthorpe squad he inherited.

After an up-and-down first half of the season since relegation, the Iron boss is starting to shed those he feels are surplus to requirements.

Five players were allowed to leave Glanford Park last week, including former Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward who caused City a headache on his debut in September.

But Ward’s injury problems persisted and it did not come as a surprise that his short-term deal was not extended.

Hurst remains frustrated at his side’s lack of consistency and their failure to build on a lead in particular.

The latest loss to Newport makes it 19 points Scunthorpe have blown from winning positions.

The first meeting with the Bantams was one of those, although the Iron did play most of it with 10 men after Matty Lund's red card.

At least Hurst should have more options to tackle City.

Skipper Rory McArdle will be hoping to be fit for a Valley Parade return after missing through illness.

Another former Bantam, Alex Gilliead, also sat that one out with the same problem but should be okay to feature.

And leading scorer Kevin van Veen is expected to be back from the dead leg that kept him out of a disappointing display.

He will slot straight in for Lee Novak, who is suspended after being sent off against Michael Flynn’s Exiles.

Dutchman van Veen has picked up his game since Hurst came in. While van Veen’s quality and talent has never been in question, there have been fingers pointed at his work rate.

But Hurst is getting the best out of him as a tally of 13 goals from 24 appearances this season proves and City will have to keep close tabs on a potential game-changer.

Winger Abo Eisa is another attacking threat and has been scoring long-range goals for fun recently.