Steve Evans confirmed he is hoping to see midfield tiger Jamie McGuire join the Mansfield Town coaching staff next season.
But the Stags boss insisted McGuire still had a major role to play in this season’s play-offs bid - and he was firmly in his mind for this weekend’s home clash with Newport County.
Evans said McGuire had been one of the fringe players offered the chance to go out on loan in January.
“Jamie had an opportunity to go out, as three or four others did,” he said.
“But he came into my office and said ‘I don’t want to go anywhere gaffer. I think what you’re doing here is pretty special and I want to be a part of it’.
“We think he is pretty special as a character. He has been fantastic in games we’ve played him in and he’s only come out the team because Lee Collins has done particularly well in that role.
“We love his infectious character and he said he is doing his B licence in the summer and focused on getting involved in coaching.
“We said we’d love Jamie to become a part of us. Going forward he has such positivity, is a big voice in the dressing room and we love working with him. So he gets all our support.”
Evans added: “I do still see him playing a major part in our season on the pitch, absolutely. Or we’d have said ‘Jamie you can come back in the summer and help us coach’.
“He has a big part to play. We played an inter-squad game the other day and he did very well. So he gives us food for thought for Saturday.
“But if I don’t play Jamie McGuire until pitching him in on the last day at Crawley and we needed something, he’d give everything he’d got and more. That’s the type of lad he is.”