Tafazolli and Oliver back in training today with Heslop expected to return later this week.Defender Ryan Tafazolli and forward Vadaine Oliver are back in training today ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match with Shrewsbury Town.
Tafazolli, 23, hasn’t featured for the past five weeks due to a hamstring problem, whilst Oliver, 23, on loan with us from Crewe Alexandra, has been troubled with injury over the past week.
“We’re getting there in terms of getting players back, but I’m not going to go singing from the roof tops yet,” said Cox. “We’ve been in this position before where we think we’re getting bodies back and all of a sudden we lose one or two
“Vadaine Oliver is back in training today. He got a nasty knock, which is a good one because he got a nasty knock on his ankle last week. Ryan Tafazolli is back today too. (Ollie) Palmer is back in now and is getting stronger in training. (Chris) Clements is back in and (Simon) Heslop is due at the end of this week.
“Part of me is quite excited about getting good players back and creating that competition for places. Then I can start managing the squad as a whole – what I mean by that is if we do need improving I can bring bodies in, but if some need to go, they can go out and get some football.”
Meanwhile, should we beat Concord Rangers in our re-arranged FA Cup tie at One Call Stadium next Tuesday, our boss says that clash at Cambridge United in the following round will be tricky.
We were potentially paired against the U’s, with whom we played out a goalless draw last month, in the second round of the competition with the tie scheduled to be played during the first weekend in December.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to win the tie against Concord Rangers,” continued Cox.
“It’s a decent draw. It could have been harder, it could have been easier, but that is the beauty of the FA Cup. Everyone sits there in anticipation of who comes out and it’s a fair result in terms of what we were expecting.
“Whoever wins our tie has got a really tough game down at Cambridge.”
Although our lengthy injury list has eased slightly over the past fortnight, we brought in Luke Waterfall from Scunthorpe United last week – the centre-back joining us on an emergency loan until the New Year.
Cox continued: “I think Luke has described himself as an old-fashioned kind of defender. He’s dominant in the air and a good all-round defender.
“’Sutts’ [Ritchie Sutton] will be back mid-December, ‘Demps’ [John Dempster] will be back mid to late December, so he gives us an extra-body at the back.”
In other news, our manager is hoping to extend Jamie Sendles-White’s loan from Queens Park Rangers.
Our manager added: “For a young centre-half coming in to League Two, it’s always going to be tough, but I think he’s showed great promise. What I’ll be looking for from him now [should we extend the loan] is a hard consistency.
“We know that he’s technically gifted as you’d expect any player to be from the Premier League. He now needs to do the hard, robust things as a defender should be able to do.”
Paul Cox’s full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.