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Oates setting high targets in front of goal

28 November 2022

Forward Rhys Oates declared that he is aiming for double goalscoring figures between now and the end of the season, after returning to action following a three month spell on the sidelines with a pectoral injury.

The 27-year-old has made only seven appearances this season, scoring once, before his injury against AFC Wimbledon on 16 August.

Oates returned to the field on 19 November as he appeared off the bench on 73 minutes, replacing Stephen Quinn against Harrogate Town at the EnviroVent Stadium.

The forward is set to start in Wednesday evening’s Papa Johns Trophy round of 32 clash against Everton’s under-21s at Goodison Park.

And speaking to iFollow Stags at a news conference this morning, Oates was asked about his targets for the remainder of the campaign and said: “[I] still [want] double figures for goals and things like that.

“That was always the target and there's still plenty of games left in the league and this cup [Papa Johns Trophy] to get out there and score as many goals as I can.”

The former Hartlepool man replaced Will Swan on 80 minutes in Saturday’s FA Cup second round tie at Sheffield Wednesday.

“It’s two weeks early from what we first had planned. It showed how well my rehab has gone and how it’s going so far.

“I'm just glad to be back really. It’s been a long time [that I’ve been out injured]. I still need to get a bit sharper and keep working on the training pitch [to get] my fitness up more and then [I just need to take] whatever minutes I can get and go from there.”

Oates is set to start for the first time since picking up his injury and said: “[I’m] really looking forward to it, [it’s] a massive ground to play at.

“We’ll see what happens. Hopefully I can last a good chunk of the game and it’s another game where I can get minutes and fitness in and get my sharpness back.

I think I’m really up there [with my fitness] to be honest. With it being my pectoral and not my legs I’ve been able to do a lot of running.

“I was outside running for about six weeks before I even went back into training. So my fitness side should be there. I feel good. I don’t know what it’ll be like playing more than half a game but I suppose we will see on Wednesday [against Everton].

“I think they’ve [Everton] won their group so they’ve obviously done well in the cup in the group stage. I think they’re doing well in their league so I think it should be a tough game. We just need to play like we know we can and how we did on Saturday [against Sheffield Wednesday].”


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