Tomorrow’s Central League fixture away to Chesterfield will be used for first team members to stake their claim for a place against Morecambe on Saturday, boss Steve Evans said today.
We face the Spireites in our penultimate Central League fixture at the Proact Stadium tomorrow (21 March, 2.00pm kick-off), and the match is free for spectators to attend.
And with the Sky Bet League Two clash against Morecambe to prepare for on Saturday, the boss has challenged the players involved tomorrow to put themselves in contention for a first team spot.
“The whole lot are going; everyone that needs game time is going tomorrow,” the manager said.
“It’s getting played at Chesterfield’s stadium, so that’s nice and it’s good, the same as we’d do now maybe with the odd reserve game towards the end [of the season].
“I know what Gary Caldwell (Chesterfield manager) will be about; he’ll want to look at players as well. I know Gary, I’m on my pro licence with him so we’ll get the opportunity to go over to Chesterfield and hopefully I’ll see a number of players put themselves in contention for Morecambe.
“We’re going to need all our players; we have to trust them all and the team that started on Saturday is unlikely to be the one that starts at Morecambe, it’s a different game.”
The gaffer and his first team staff will all be in attendance at the Proact Stadium to assess which players perform well enough to be included against the Shrimps at the weekend.
“You want players to play in these reserve games and you go away as a group of staff and you speak to each other.
“The only way they’ll get in the first team, of course, is by producing a good performance. They won’t get in the first team by going and messing about in the reserves – we’ve got no time for that.”
Defender Krystian Pearce limped out of Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Carlisle United but Stags' chief is confident that the centre-half has merely suffered an ankle sprain.
“We’re pretty confident it’s a sprain so that’s just quickly down to the healing process in the body. Some people can come back from a sprain in four or five days, some people are nine or 10.
“It’ll be about Wednesday or Thursday before we really know as to how much movement Krystian’s got on it.
“I thought Krystian was playing really well but we’ve got an opportunity to get Kyle [Howkins] on the pitch. I thought he was outstanding in spells; he won a lot of headers, and we’ve got George Taft who’s been the most unfortunate man in the football club not to have worked his way on to the bench, because he’s been excellent in training.
“We’ve always said they would be like two new players and thankfully we’ve got them because it would be a problem if we didn’t, especially with Lee [Collins] out with a minor [hamstring] strain as well.”
Collins is likely to be sidelined for 'a week or two', the manager added.
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view Steve Evans’ news conference, in full.