Mansfield Town hoping skipper Nicky Hunt can shake off weekend illness

Nicky Hunt - Pic By James Williamson
Nicky Hunt - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town are hoping skipper Nicky Hunt will be fully fit for Saturday’s trip to York City after taking ill on Saturday and having to leave the field with dizziness during the 1-1 draw with Oxford United.

“Hunty rang in Saturday morning with a little bit of fever,” said Murray.

“He said he felt a little bit run-down, nothing major. But as the game has gone on, with the heat as well, he got a little bit dehydrated. So the best thing to do - and they’d put Kemar Roofe out there which was causing us a problem - was to get him off.

“He was feeling extra dizzy so we took the safe option and luckily we had Lee Collins to go in there and secure it up a little bit.

“He’s one of these characters. He is a tough lad and he wants to go through brick walls. He’s got pride in wearing the shirt and he’s obviously been a big player for us.

“He felt he was well enough to play and I think up until about 70 minutes when he started draining a little bit he didn’t really feel it. So we had to make that change and get him off.”

Murray added: “I think what you don’t realise, and I didn’t realise on Saturday until I’d spoken to a few players I know away from this club, was how hot it was.”

Hunt, like most of the players and staff at the club, have also really had it taken out of them how busy the new season has been with so many midweek games. And they are not the only ones.

“It’s incredible how many managers said on Saturday how glad they are this start is out of the way as it’s been Saturday/Tuesday,” said Murray.

“We have a small squad and I think on Saturday at times it hit us as we didn’t have that dynamics about us that we normally have. At times we looked a bit laboured.”

One or two comments have been made that Stags haven’t had far to travel yet and shouldn’t be complaining about so many games, but Murray countered: “That’s a cheap comment.

“You have to understand what it takes out of you. You can travel six hours or you can travel two hours. It’s the occasion and it’s the psychological effect it has on people.

“You are 100 per cent focused. We didn’t get back from Accrington until 3am and then we were up and about it the next day again, so it has an effect.”

Stags now have a clear week prepare for York with Murray saying: “It is a good week to refocus to see who far we’ve come since pre-season after the first batch of games and we will focus on York.

“We have already watched their last three games. There is a little tie between the clubs from the Conference days, but for us we are going there to win. We set out a target this month and if we hit it and carry on that kind of points tally we’ve set out monthly, we’ll be in the play-offs. So we want a result Saturday to keep on that target push.

“The build-up for the week now will be about York. They are a big, strong side,very efficient but we know their weaknesses and what our strengths are. So we will be going there to win.”