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Boss anticipates duo to play at Burton

18 September 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans expects striker Jimmy Spencer and defender Rhys Bennett to be involved in a strong Mansfield Town side in tomorrow's Central League Cup tie against Burton Albion at St George's Park (1.00pm kick-off).

Our second string will take on the Brewers in our opening Central League Cup clash of the season tomorrow and we will be providing blow-by-blow updates of the encounter on our Twitter feed (@mansfieldtownfc), as the match will be played behind-closed-doors.

And after Spencer (back injury) and Bennett (ill) missed Saturday's Sky Bet League Two victory over Lincoln City, the gaffer hopes to see them return to action at St George's Park tomorrow.

"It seems to have been a bit of a spasm in his (Jimmy Spencer) back. If he trains today, he'll be involved with the reserves at Burton tomorrow," the Stags' chief said.

"We want to see him train of course. He was in yesterday and the physios released him and he felt a lot more comfortable.

"I'm hoping to see Rhys bright and cheerful this morning. He's a big lad, he's a big presence and a good character in our dressing room and we've got a lot of time for Rhys. Hopefully, as well, he's at Burton.

"It will be the players on the bench and the players that need some game-time [who will be involved at Burton]. The days are gone where the players hate playing reserve games here. We're not Manchester United or Manchester City where we can send the 21s, we're not that type of club. We need our players to be playing competitive minutes and I know what Nigel Clough stands for.

"The days are gone where the players hate playing reserve games here. We're not Manchester United or Manchester City where we can send the 21s, we're not that type of club."

Steve Evans, manager

"It might be a little weaker from their point of view, given they're at Old Trafford [against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup] on Wednesday and he'll want to take his 18-20 players to Manchester."

Midfielder Joel Byrom, however, will be missing for 'two-three' weeks with a foot injury which he picked up in last week's draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

The gaffer said: "Joel will be [out for] two or three weeks. We've got him in a protective boot so people might see him around the town in a protective boot, that's just to protect the strain of the injury.

"He's improved since it was happening almost a week ago against Wycombe. Joel will [out for] two or three weeks but when he comes back – I've often said about players when they go out for two, three or four weeks, they come back like a new signing."

Young midfielder Jack Thomas joined National League North side Boston United last week and the gaffer hopes the month's loan at The Jakemans Stadium will be a fruitful spell for the 21-year-old.

"He has to get some minutes. He's not played, on a regular basis, 90 minutes for far too long. Last season's loan move at the end of the season turned out to be a bit of a disaster for Jack.

"He has to be given every opportunity so we did say when we came back in pre-season, if wasn't in the team, he has to go and get some games. He's going to get that at Boston. Boston's a good club with good people, so he's going to get that.

"The only thing look for concerning Jack on Saturday was did he start? And how many minutes did he play? I'm not interested in their results, but I'm interested in Jack Thomas getting competitive minutes on the pitch."

Supporters will be able to view the manager's news conference on iFollow Stags later this afternoon.

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