Stags defensive pair out for a month

James Jennings receives treatment from Physio Simon Murphy -Pic by: Richard Parkes
James Jennings receives treatment from Physio Simon Murphy -Pic by: Richard Parkes
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Mansfield Town defensive pair Martin Riley and James Jennings could both be sidelined for up to a month after suffering first half injuries in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Oxford United.

It is another major blow to the club, whose squad is rapidly diminishing, yet they still need to get further players out in order to free up cash for a much-needed new striker, with a tough home clash with promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town looming this Saturday.

Riley has injured a quad muscle and could be the first to return, but Jennings has a tear in his calf.

“Getting players out is on hold at the minute with the injuries,” said first team coach Micky Moore.

“James Jennings and Martin Riley could be up to a month and Louis Briscoe’s back is in spasm. Also, Jake Speight is not fit enough to play a game yet.

“We are still looking for a striker and the staff went to watch three games on Monday and another two or three today.

“We have been close on one or two occasions. We looked at a lad at Aston Villa but he went to Doncaster in the Championship. That is the pecking order we are in.

“It’s no secret we are looking for a natural goalscorer that could help the lads. If someone becomes available we will put it to the board and see if we can bring that person in.”

Stags also announced this week that physio Simon Murphy is to leave in two weeks and join Championship high-flyers Leicester City as assistant first team coach.

“Simon is a young lad, very ambitious and a fantastic physio,” said Moore. “His attention to detail is excellent and he is meticulous in everything he does. He is very professional and it’s no surprise that a club the size of Leicester want him.

“He is a sad loss but we wish him well. That’s what happens when you bring people in and nurture them and they go on and have a fantastic career.”

Trialist Sunderland striker Craig Lynch (21) came on a substitute to set up skipper Ben Hutchinson for the 79th minute winner as Stags reserves secured their place in the Final Third Development League Cup semi-finals as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Rotherham United yesterday.

Tom Hitchcock fired the Millers ahead with a contentious strike after only three minutes, but Ollie Palmer equalised with a low finish before the quarter-hour mark.

Stags now advance to the semi-finals along with Group A winners Leicester City.

Morecambe, Wigan Athletic and Carlisle United are all in contention to win Group C.