Can Stags striker Yussuf finish season with a flourish after ban?

Mansfield Town's Adi Yussuf - Pic by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Adi Yussuf - Pic by Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is hoping striker Adi Yussuf can finish the season with a flourish after completing his five game suspension ahead of Saturday’s trip to play-off chasers Carlisle United.

The football world had much sympathy for Yussuf after he was hit with such a big and unprecedented ban for urinating behind a stand while warming up as a substitute at Plymouth Argyle.

In the meantime, Stags have had to bring in Chesterfield loanee Mani Dieseruvwe who will hope he has done enough to stave off Yussuf’s long overdue first League start after signing from non-League Oxford City last summer.

Although he has struggled fitness-wise to make the step-up from part-time to full-time football, Yussuf has been superb as a substitute, netting five times and Murray said: “I think we’ve missed his impact.

“There have been certain games, and Saturday was one, we know every time we put Adi on he gets a chance or he creates a chance for somebody else.

“If Adi had been here over the last five games, would he have nicked us a game or got us a goal here and there? I think he probably would.

“He is our joint second top goalscorer yet he still hasn’t started a League game.

“This might be a period now when we can introduce him and allow him to get some of that match fitness we’ve been desperate to get him.

“By the same token I think Mani has been superb since he’s come in.

“He was the one we had to sacrifice on Saturday as we like playing with 10 men at the minute don’t we? We are going to try it from the off on Saturday and just start with 10 men!”