Mansfield Town will save most of their big guns for Saturday’s visit of Nottingham Forest as they decide on a side to travel to Stamford tonight (7.30).
But tonight’s latest pre-season friendly at the Zeeco Stadium will still be vital for a handful of senior players hoping to force their way into the first team picture at Crewe on 5th August.
Boss Steve Evans said: “For the Stamford match there will only be a few senior lads.
“In large, the lads are ahead of schedule when we measure their minutes on the pitch ahead of the new season.
“When you play the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest (to be played on Saturday) in seven days your energy levels are going to be tested and the lads have been great.
“A few senior lads will be at Stamford and at this stage it is an important match for them.
“The large majority of the squad will train this morning and get focused on more minutes again Forest.
“Again, we will be tested but that is exactly what I want.
“Both the managers at Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough gave our lads many many plaudits and that is a testament to how hard they have worked when Carlos and Gary are so complimentary.”
Evans’ assistant Paul Raynor added: “The excitement is growing. These games are fantastic.
“We’ve had a long close season, though a busy one in terms of getting people in and a squad together.
“We’ve just had a very enjoyable couple of games and now we have the game at Stamford and then a fantastic one to look forward to against Forest on Saturday.
“The quality of opposition we’ve had here this week has been absolutely fantastic.
“We had a pretty much full strength Sheffield Wednesday team, then a team that graced the Premier League, and on Saturday one of our local rivals at home.
“It doesn’t get any better and I hope there is a big crowd and we can entertain them as well.
“These two games have been the first full 90 minutes they have played so it’s vitally important now that they are allowed to get the recovery in before the weekend.”