Stags hopeful one or two injured players will return before Mariners clash

Mansfield Town's Krystian Pearce makes the pass - Pic Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Krystian Pearce makes the pass - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is hopeful one or two players will return from injury ahead of this Saturday’s match with Grimsby Town.

Chris Clements and Jack Thomas are making progress in their return to match fitness, with Murray hoping both will be available for selection for the visit of the Mariners.

On loan West Bromwich Albion centre-half Kyle Howkins should return in the next fortnight while Murray confirmed George Taft will be sidelined for up to six weeks.

Fellow defender Krystian Pearce sustained an ankle injury in the goalless draw with Hartlepool on Saturday and will be monitored over the coming days.

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On Pearce, Murray said: “He’s gone over on his ankle. He’s not trained. We’re just putting him out for games.

“I think you can see that he does look a little bit off the pace but I haven’t got a choice at the minute. We have to keep him wrapped up.

“We’ll see how he is this morning. Out on the training pitch is where it all counts. We’ve got another free week this week and there’s a lot of good work going in.”

And added: “Jack (Thomas) will make some major moves this week and Chris (Clements) should hopefully be available for the weekend’s game.

“Kyle (Howkins) is coming on rapidly, quicker than we expected so think within the next two weeks we’ll have him nearly there. (George) Taft’s going to be four to six weeks.”

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Stags brought in Oscar Gobern on Saturday and the former QPR and Huddersfield Town midfielder made an impression when he was introduced at Victoria Park.

“We didn’t look like we were going to get broken down first half, but I didn’t think we were going to open them up either. When Oscar came on at half time I think we were missing that type of player.

“He’s got loads of energy and will play box-to-box but at the same time he’s very creative. He’s a ball-player, he want the ball all the time and too good for League Two,” said Murray, who added that there has been more recruitment needed than he initially planned.

“We’ve recruited 11 new players now and I didn’t want that. It’s rocked the plans a bit but that’s it now, we don’t want anymore coming in or anymore going out, we’re locking the doors and this is us now.

“I said to the players after the game ‘this is us, our sole focus is getting into that top seven’. I can see the seas settling a little bit now. I’m good when I’m calm, I’m not good when I’m not calm.”

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