Boss Nigel Clough has provided an extensive injury update ahead of Saturday’s trip to Northampton Town in Sky Bet League Two.
Stags added to their ever-growing casualty list against Oldham at the weekend, with midfielder George Maris suffering concussion early on, and striker Oli Hawkins being replaced at half-time due to problems with his groin and back.
Nigel Clough offered the latest on Stags’ absentees ahead of Saturday’s match at Sixfields, as well as confirming that defender Farrend Rawson will return from suspension for the game.
“It’s a long [injury] list,” he told iFollow Stags. “It was made worse by losing the two players on Saturday [George Maris and Oli Hawkins]. George has come round okay but is still feeling a bit groggy.
“There are certain protocols that you have to follow with concussion, so Tom [Whittamore], the physio, will be doing that this week. But I would think he’s a doubt for Saturday.
“Oli Hawkins is not too bad. He’s been struggling with his back, so any sort of problem is coming from that. He’ll be another doubt for Saturday.
“Ryan Stirk is back at Birmingham having treatment, so we’re waiting for an update on him. I would think he would be a few more weeks [before returning], Richard Nartey the same. He [Nartey] is with us, but not close [to a return] at the moment.
“Kellan Gordon is not too far off, probably about 10 days or something like that. Hopefully Will Forrester will be in full training, then be available in the next week or two to actually start.
“[We’ll have] Faz Rawson back from suspension [against Northampton] which is good. Then we’ll get Quinny [Stephen Quinn] and Tyrese [Sinclair] back [for Port Vale on Tuesday].
“He [Rawson] only got the one-game suspension, which is good news. It gives us a much-needed centre-half.”
The boss, despite the players he is currently missing, has been pleased by Stags’ defensive contributions in recent games, with Mansfield conceding just two goals in their last four league outings.
Nigel Clough says that the amber and blue will fight even ‘harder’ in ‘adverse circumstances.’
“I think the main positive in the last four games is that we’ve stopped shipping goals,” he added. “When we’ve conceded as many as we have, against Walsall, Harrogate and Bradford, it makes it very difficult to win.
“We’ve only conceded two in the last four league games now, and one of those was a disputed penalty. I think we’re getting to be a bit tighter. We just need to start doing more at the other end of the pitch.
“It’s been very difficult to maintain the standards of the first five games with so many players out. I think we’ve had a season’s worth of problems in a month or two.
“It’s hard enough trying to win games when you have everybody available. But when we’re at the stage we are, when we’re low on confidence – especially in front of goal – you see the anxiety and snatching at chances.
“But we keep fighting. What we’ve tried to do over the years is, the more adverse the circumstances, the harder we fight. You get more satisfaction when you get a result in the circumstances than normally, because you know how hard you’ve had to work for it.”
The manager also looked ahead to Saturday’s game away at Northampton Town.
“[Northampton are] a strong, physical side. I think they’re adapting very well to life back in League Two.
“Of the teams that have come down [from League One], they’ve kept quite a few players, so they have a nucleus of League One players, which gives them a certain amount of quality.
“I think they’ve had some very good results so far this season.”
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Tickets for this weekend’s game against Northampton Town can be purchased online by visiting stagstickets.co.uk.