Relief for Mansfield Town as Nicky Hunt returns

Mansfield Town's Nicky Hunt'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town's Nicky Hunt'Picture by Dan Westwell

Mansfield Town skipper Nicky Hunt makes a welcome return to the squad for tomorrow’s visit of Stevenage with boss Adam Murray admitting he has struggled to adequately cover Hunt’s absence at right back.

“I think Hunty expected to be in the squad last Saturday, that’s why he was changed before the game,” said Murray.

“He had only trained two days by then. But we’ve been a bit more intensive with him this week and he’s done okay.

“So it will be how he has reacted to the last two days work now. If he reacts well and comes through it we will see if he is in a position to start. If not he will be on the bench.”

Both midfielder Mitch Rose and centre half Lee Collins have been played at right back with varying degrees of success from game to game while Liam Marsden, a right back by trade, was not considered match fit enough to risk.

Murray said: “Mitch is a young pup who is not a right back. It’s like Lee Collins, he is an experienced centre half but he’s not a right back and it has shook our shape and we’ve lost our balance.

“When Mitch plays in midfield he is one of our best players, so we have hung him out to dry a bit as we’ve not had any more options.

“We’ve got Liam Marsden, who hasn’t played games. So to throw him in would have been more detrimental to him than Mitch, who has played and is up to speed.

“To have Hunty’s ability as a right back, his distribution and composure, his experience, the attacking threat he gives us will be great.

“At the minute I have him in cotton wool – I’ve got him in a quilt and he’s locked in my garage.”