PREVIEW: Fully fit Stags squad split between friendlies

Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray 'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray 'Picture by Dan Westwell

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray confirmed he would be splitting his first team squad in two for Saturday’s double friendly fixtures at Clipstone and Carlton Town.

The sides will be supplemented by U21 and youth players to give everyone an outing.

Stags will send a side to neighbouring NCEL Premier Division Clipstone’s 1,000-capacity Worksop Van Hire Stadium for a noon kick-off before a second side take on Evo-Stik NPL Division One South Carlton Town at their 1,500-capacity Bill Stokeld Stadium at 4pm.

“We are in that planning and preparation for those games today,” said Murray.

“Obviously we want to try to let our fans know what strength the team is going to be at both games.

“We don’t want people wasting their time, but obviously if you’ve got a free Saturday try to get to both as what we are going to try to do is split the first team players into both games.

“For exact personnel of who is playing in which game I am not 100 per cent sure yet. We will look at the lads’ loads that they’ve had over the last nine days and see what game will suit what players.

“So we’re going to try to balance it out as much as we can. But like I say, if you’ve got a spare day then get to both.”

Defenders George Taft and Lee Collins missed out on last weekend’s opening 2-0 win at Rainworth MW with slight knocks but are now back into a fully fit squad.

“Everyone has trained this week and we’ve had a really good week,” said Murray. “The intensity has gone up and the volume of training has gone up.

“We’ve gone onto triple sessions this week, the first starting at 9am, and the boys have been putting in a good shift. No one has missed anything, so we are all in good shape.”

Murray was delighted with how training has gone so far.

“It’s been slightly different to last year,” he said. “We have probably upped the physical work a little bit.

“Even though we were very fit last year I still think we can improve in that area and because we haven’t got as many new players, the tactical information hasn’t been as intense.

“If you ask the lads they might tell you different as they’ve heard a lot of my voice.

“Same as last year we’ve gone straight into the games early doors. “There’s been a lot of shape work and tactical stuff in the early part as, like we showed last year, if we can get the boys with a good understanding of what we want and of each other, it gives you a better chance of being organised and disciplined within the games.”

He added: “There is a lot of work going in already. We’ve got a month until the season starts and three weeks before the week of preparation for Newport.

“So we are in a good place and looking forward to the season. The boys are very confident and there is a good feeling around the camp.

“The new boys have come in and slotted in as we expected. So it’s all good in the hood.”

For fans heading to Carlton, drive down the A60 to Arnold and turn right at the Vale Hotel onto Thackerays Lane.

Proceed to the roundabout and take the third exit on to Arno Vale Road. Go through the traffic lights to the top of the hill and continue straight on at next lights onto Arnold Lane.

Continue past the golf course, the old Gedling Colliery and church to a mini roundabout. Continue straight on to the old junction with A612 (Southwell).

You must turn right here and at the next set of lights turn left and follow the loop road to the next junction.

Take a left turn onto the new A612 Gedling By-Pass and follow to the next set of traffic lights at Severn Trent Works.

Turn left onto Stoke Lane. Entrance to Carlton Town FC is immediately on your right. The ground can only be accessed via this new Gedling By Pass Road.

The bonus for fans going to this game is that Carlton Town are also staging their Beer, Cider, Sausage and Music Festival at the same time.