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Club News

Stags eager to up the stakes in final third

28 March 2023

Club News

Stags eager to up the stakes in final third

28 March 2023

Stags will aim to convert draws into wins by being better in possession and increasing the quality of deliveries into the box, first team coach Andy Garner intimated at a news conference this morning.

Nigel Clough’s men are unbeaten in the club’s previous three fixtures against Stockport, Grimsby and Sutton and will aim to up the ante with nine games remaining

This Saturday’s opponents, Crawley Town, visit One Call Stadium hoping to enhance their chances of Sky Bet League Two survival with Stags eager to start the month of April with a victory as the race for promotion edges closer towards its end.

Speaking on the Red Devils at a news conference this morning, Andy said: “They’ve [Crawley] had a bit of a disappointing season. They’re down there [towards the bottom of Sky bet League Two] and they’re fighting for their lives.

“They had a good win on Saturday, and I think they won the week prior as well so it’ll be a hard game, there’s no doubt about that.

“We have to be better. It’s about us, not too much concentration on Crawley.

“We need to get our game right. We’ll be training all week and we’ll be looking at different players, different styles that might help.

“What we’ve got to do is test their ‘keeper a lot more on Saturday, start creating chances and start scoring goals.

“All we can do is keep going. It’s going to be virtually the same again, the same team.

“We have to be a little bit better on the ball, be a bit more patient and also the quality of the ball going into the box has to be a little bit better.”

Stags’ squad continues to be impacted by injury. Defender Riley Harbottle was the latest to be withdrawn during a game – suffering concussion in the 16th minute at the weekend.

“He came off with concussion,” said the first team coach.

“I think he was [knocked] out when he got first contact. It’s not good news.

“That makes him unavailable for Saturday, I think. It’s his second one [concussion, this season] I think that straight away doesn’t allow him to play on Saturday.

On the other potential absentees, Andy added: “He’ll [Elliott Hewitt] be available for Saturday that is for sure.

“Reedy [Louis Reed] is going to be training this week, probably Thursday, but not looking to be available for Saturday.

“Macca [Stephen McLaughlin] is the same. He’s not doing any training this week, so he won’t be available Saturday.

“[Callum] Johnson will probably be looking at Swindon [as a return game]. He’ll be looking to be getting on the training pitch on Wednesday/Thursday.

“[George] Maris is going to be training on Wednesday so there’s a possibility that he could be in the squad and obviously, we’ve got Quinny [Stephen Quinn] back from suspension.”

A former striker, Andy was pleased to see young forward James Gale shine on his first league start for the club.

“I’m very happy for him.

“We decided on Friday to freshen it up with Gale and [Danny] Johnson up front. I think he [Gale] can be proud of his performance.

“I thought he did really, really well. His hold-up play was very good.

“The only reason that we brought him off was that he felt tired.

“All-in-all it was a very good performance.”

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