Matty Blair back in Mansfield Town action in Nike friendly tomorrow

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Winger Matty Blair will play his first game since his serious knee injury in January this week when he turns out in a behind-closed-doors friendly with the Nike Acdemy at St George’s Park, Burton, tomorrow (Wednesday).

Blair, who has battled his way back from a cruciate ligament injury sustained at Carlisle just after signing for the Stags, was given a big boost last weekend when he was put on the bench in the 1-0 defeat at Luton at the end of his first full week’s contact training.

“We’ve got a game Wednesday at St George’s Park, so he will play in that and he will be like a new signing when we get him back,” said Murray.

“The quicker we can get him back into game mode the better because he is an all-round player. He does the defensive side, but attacking-wise he gives you a goal threat and creates chances.

“I keep speaking about our attacking players doing the defensive side of the game. I thought at times on Saturday we didn’t do that as well as we have done, and Matty is excellent at that as well as giving us that goal threat.”

He added: “We played them (Nike Academy) last season, and it’s a great facility, a great pitch and a great game to get people minutes in a good environment, again limiting risks to certain things.

“It’s good to get people minutes but we have to be mindful we are low on numbers.”