Mansfield Town are hoping to get target man Matt Rhead back for Saturday’s home FA Cup first round tie with Concord Rangers.
Injury-ravaged Stags have gone seven games without a win and have struggled with different combinations up front since Rhead limped off at Portsmouth with a hamstring injury.
Manager Paul Cox said after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Southend that he wanted to get back to what had brought the club success over recent seasons and this morning first team coach Richard Cooper said: “Matt Rhead could be fit for Saturday, though, other than that, I don’t think anyone else will be coming back either into the squad.
“Matt trained yesterday and we are hopeful that, with a week’s training under his belt, he will be back in contention.
“I think he gives us a base and we have been better with him than without him. We have to play to our strengths.”
Stags, with nine first team players injured, have four loan players in the club at the moment.
But Keiron Freeman is now injured and it looks unlikely Crewe will allow Vadaine Oliver to become cup-tied.
However, Stags expect to be able to use QPR’s Jamie Sendles-White and Huddersfield’s Daniel Carr.
The visit of Conference South side Concord does give Stags a breather from the pressures of League Two, but Cooper said no one would be taking progress for granted.
“It creates a lot of euphoria when players come up against so-called bigger teams,” he said. “We are not taking it lightly, far from it.
“It will be a different kind of pressure. I have been in Concord’s situation when I was a player in League Two and we ended up against Fulham.
“It breeds a lot of adrenalin. Concord have reached the first round proper on merit and we are expecting a tough game.
“But there needs to be a reaction here from Saturday. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. I know we have injuries, but we are not using that as an excuse. At the end of the day it’s 11 against 11 on the pitch. I hope the boys will be champing at the bit.”