Mansfield Town are not expecting any repercussions from the FA over reports that substitute Adi Yussuf was allegedly seen by home fans and staff urinating next to a stand during the 3-0 defeat at Plymouth two weeks ago.
Although he was reported after official complains were made, manager Adam Murray said Yussuf had been told to go there by a steward and home players had done the same.
Murray felt the incident had been blown out of proportion by the media and to avoid any such issues at home, the Stags now have a Portaloo installed for use by substitutes on the Quarry Lane side of the pitch.
Murray smiled: “He’s had to start wearing a nappy!
“No, it was blown out worse than it was. Adi had followed the Plymouth players to where they’d gone to the toilet.
“He’d asked a steward as the Plymouth changing room is a million miles away and it was in the middle of a game. If he was due to go on he would have been somewhere round the ground
“So he followed the Plymouth players and asked the steward am I okay to go. No one could see him, they’ve caught him coming out from behind the stand and someone has obviously said something, which we respect.
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“We’ve told Adi next time go to toilet and take the punishment from me for not being available to go on for that five minutes. But we have cleared it up at our own end and we’re waiting to hear from the FA.
“We’ve took the step of getting our own Portaloo next to the dug-outs so if anyone needs to go they can go. But it topped off an eventful week.”
He added: “It is tough. You need to hydrate to get your peak performance – and if you hydrate too much you need to go to the toilet. That’s the way the human body works.
“He is now known as the serial pee-er in the dressing room! But the press made it sound seedy like he’d ran on the pitch naked.
“He desperately needed the toilet and though he’d done the right procedure, following the home team’s players and asking the steward and he got the nod.”
Yussuf came on and scored the second goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Morecambe and Murray could not resist saying: “As the Scottish people would say, he always gets into these ‘wee’ situations doesn’t he?
“All joking aside, he scores goals, if he doesn’t score goals, he creates, he sets someone up.”
Yussuf’s fitness has been an issue since he arrived at the club from non-League football at Oxford City.
But Murray said: “I think we’re getting there and he played 45 minutes on Saturday.
“It frustrates me that every time he scores a goal or sets a goal up, he will have 10 minutes where the enthusiasm and the euphoria of it meaning so much to him, he just loses total control of his body and he can’t breathe and he can’t see.
“It’s a learning curve for him. He has been out the professional game a long time and, when he was in it, he only had three professional games. So he is a baby.
“It’s a learning curve for him. He can’t do any more fitness-wise off the pitch. He is one of these who do extra work and is constantly in the gym, he has a personal trainer, and he works with our strength and conditioning coach constantly.
“He wants to learn, he wants to get fit. But the big thing that is going to improve him is game time. You can’t replicate match situations.
“He can only get that by playing and the situation for us has been that we can’t afford for you not to breath while we’re trying to win three points.
“But he’s got a lot better. Not having a reserve team he’s not been able to get regular games.
“So he’s had to learn on the job and get fitter on the job. I thought he was superb on Saturday – the best I’ve seen him. Not just his goal, but his hold-up play and his intelligence.
“Tactically he is becoming so much more aware and he is going to be a massive asset to the football club.
“He’s got a price on his head at the moment and as time goes on I imagine that will get bigger which can only bode well for the club.”
Every time Yussuf does score, his celebrations with his family and fans are quite a sight.
“That’s one thing I’ve liked about this group,” said Murray.
“On Fridays we always give players tickets for their families and we always need more. It shows the tightness of this group that everybody’s families are involved in it, everybody wants to be a part of it.
“When Adi scores, it’s carnage in the stands. He is really close to his parents, especially his dad, who is a big driver in his career.
“It’s brilliant to see – that bond is super. When he does score it’s one of them – five minutes later he is still clapping the crowd!”