First outing for new Mansfield Town striker Rhys Oates in Matlock Town friendly

Mansfield Town fans should get their first glimpse of new striker Rhys Oates in tonight's pre-season friendly at Matlock Town.

By John Lomas
Friday, 16th July 2021, 10:00 am
Rhys Oates celebrates victory with Hartlepool in the National League play-off final.
Rhys Oates celebrates victory with Hartlepool in the National League play-off final.

Manager Nigel Clough who has been without seven first team players who are self-isolating, will again give his players an hour before bringing on youngsters and fringe players.

“It will the same principle at Matlock as on Tuesday, especially with the heat that has been forecast,” he said.

“Stephen Quinn and Jason Law will miss out with knocks but Rhys Oates should be included.

Stags romped to a 9-1 win at Retford Town in their first friendly on Tuesday and Clough said: “It was 60 minutes for the lads that were available and 30 minutes for the youngsters – it's always good to get them involved in a first team game. It was ideal for the first game.

“The lads were tiring about the hour mark as you'd expect so the young players were able to come on, enjoy it, and get a couple of goals.

“It was good for their confidence being in a first team environment and a few more than we hoped, or expected, got some first team minutes just because of the six or seven we have missing from the first team squad.”

Other newcomers Danny Johnson and Oli Hawkins both scored on impressive debuts and Clough said: “It looks as though the new players have settled in quite well.

“It always helps when you have a good group of players as it helps the new players settle in quicker.

“We'd still like to do a little more business with maybe one or two more. But that's dependant on players going out.”

Rollin Meneyese and Corey O'Keeffe both featured after being told they can find other clubs as they are not in Clough's plans.

He said: “They were filling in for us. We needed some bodies and it's also about being fair to them.

“They have been training with the first team so far but the situation has not changed with them.”

Clough will again run the rule over former Rotherham United youngster George Scott in tonight’s friendly.

Scott came on during the win at Retford Town and Clough said: “He made contact through a friend and I was asked if he could come in and do some training.

“We have a small group of youngsters. Whether he can break into that we'll have a look at him playing some part at Matlock.

“Next week he will have a couple of days with us and we'll see from there.

“He is a central midfielder released by Rotherham last season and I believe he was actually with us here a few years ago. I was talking to Richard Cooper so they are aware of him as well.”