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Manager provides injury update on trio

28 November 2022

Manager Nigel Clough provided an injury update on defenders Lewis Page and Stephen McLaughlin as well as captain Ollie Clarke ahead of Wednesday’s Papa Johns Trophy round of 32 clash against Everton under-21s at Goodison Park.

The Stags bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday at Hillsborough as they were defeated 2-1 by Sheffield Wednesday despite leading on 34 minutes from George Lapslie.

And the aforementioned trio were the only senior players missing from the 20-man squad at the weekend.

Speaking to iFollow Stags ahead of Wednesday’s Trophy tie in a news conference on Monday morning, Nigel gave an update on their fitness status: “[Lewis Page] got a kick at Notts County in the Notts Senior Cup game last Tuesday on his Achilles which made it too sore [for him to feature against Sheffield Wednesday].

“We are hoping he will train this week with a view to being available on Wednesday or Saturday. 

“[Stephen McLaughlin] did a little bit of training last week but it was still uncomfortable. Once again, we will assess him this week and see if he can make 45 minutes at Everton.

“The ideal scenario would be if he [McLaughlin] and Lewis Page could play 45 minutes each at Everton and get them both back on the pitch but we will see how they are.

“Ollie Clarke [is] still [out]. His injury is proving a little worse than we first feared. He’s not done any training or anything this week and I don’t think he’ll be available for Everton, [we’re] looking more towards Saturday if anything.”

When asked who will feature in the encounter, Nigel said: “The full first team is going, everybody who didn’t play on Saturday will need a game: James Perch, John-Joe O’Toole, Anthony Hartigan, all the subs.

“Rhys Oates will start [the game against Everton]. The idea was to give him a little longer on Saturday but we didn’t want to change it at the time.

“I think Everton are allowed two over-age [players in their under-21s’ side in the Papa Johns Trophy].

“I know they’ve obviously had this long break with the first-team but they’re one of the best under-21s sides in the country, without a doubt. Everton have always been one of these teams.

“A couple of them [other clubs], without being too disrespectful, are a little bit sort of passive and not physical. Everton do it properly and have done for many, many years. 

“It will be a very tough game, probably one of the hardest draws in terms of under-21s that you can get because of their capabilities.

“We’re going to a ground that the club hasn't played at before and we won’t get the opportunity to do so again with them moving in 18 months.”


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