Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray admitted he was worried he could be without goal ace Matt Green for Friday’s big local derby at Notts County after the striker missed out on tonight’s 4-1 Capital Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Murray also rested Krystian Pearce and gave a full debut to teenager Corbin Shires at centre half for fear of losing another centre half after Lee Collins was ruled out injured.
With so little time to rest his players before Friday and such a small squad, Murray is now just crossing his fingers Green can make it.
To read the match report from Sheffield Wednesday click HERE
“Matt has a little bit of a knock so we rested him tonight. It doesn’t give us much time to get him right for Friday either,” he said.
“We rested Krystian as, with Lee Collins out, we couldn’t afford another injury in that department as we are down to the bare bones in that position.”
Stags showed a lot of fight at Hillsborough and turned in a gutsy second half after concededing two quick goals early in the game and being given the run-around before pulling one back through Ryan Tafazolli.
It was the second time in as many years that Stags had bowed out the competition in the city at this stage after losing at Sheffield United last year.
Murray said: “Obviously we were beaten by the better team. For about 35-40 minutes we looked like we were in awe of Hillsborough and Sheffield Wednesday and let them do what they wanted. We looked scared and overawed.
“But at the back end of the half we kicked into gear and probably should have had another goal.
“In the second half we looked like we wanted to get about them and created chances. I was pleased with some of our play.”
He added: “It was always a risk tonight with a 17-year-old centre half. It was a great experience for him but we conceded a few naïve goals.
“He learned some tough lessons but I thought in spells he did well and Taff (Tafazolli) came to the party and managed him well.
“Overall it was the tough game we expected and Wednesday’s quality shone through.
“We have lost a football match so I am disappointed. But the League has to be our priority as we don’t want to put our fans through what they went through last season again.
“I think all four were poor goals to give away. Especially when you go away to a Championship team. But it part of our learning curve.
“It was another wake-up call for anyone who got carried away by our pre-season games.
“We were almost relegated last year so were we ever going to go on and win the cup and the league? No, but we can improve and be more competitive and try to finish as high the league as we can.
“We still have a lot of work to do but there were a lot of plusses. In League Two we won’t come against sides with movement like that.”
However, he warned his side will have to come out of the traps at full pelt at Meadow Lane on Friday.
“We need to show the work rate and endeavour of the second half from minute one,” he said.
“It will be a cauldron and if we sit off and go through the motions like we did for 35 minutes tonight, the outcome will be the same.
“It is frustrating it’s a day early as it doesn’t give room for work and recovery. It’s all about getting a balance.
“It is a local derby. It’s a game that will have a bit of fire about it and one I’d love to play in myself. If you don’t have the energy to compete in games like that you shouldn’t be a footballer.
“Notts have brought in a lot of players, some of who have played abroad at top clubs, and they have an array of talent on the bench and in the stands.
“So it’s no surprise they are going to be one of the tough teams in the division and will be up there this season.”