Stephen Quinn return will lift us tonight – Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough

Stephen Quinn in Mansfield Town action.Stephen Quinn in Mansfield Town action.
Stephen Quinn in Mansfield Town action.
Mansfield Town will be boosted tonight by the return of vastly experienced former Irish international Stephen Quinn for the visit of high-flying Port Vale.

Quinn has completed a six game suspension and manager Nigel Clough said: “It gives everyone a big lift, certainly the squad, as every day when we are training you see his quality.

“He is the sort of lad you give the ball to. He and James Perch were our best and most experienced players who have played at the highest level. Even though they are now in their mid-30s, they are still very, very good players.

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“We miss Perchy every single game and every single day in training.

“We can't now address that until January and we have to try to survive until then.

“If might have been different if we had got the players in that we wanted in the summer, and it's no fault of anybody – the chairman backed us on the deals, we just missed out for various reasons, which happens.

“But it's nice having another body available and another option.”

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However, he said: “We have a couple of doubts with injuries with George Maris (concussion), who we are keeping an eye on day to day, and Stephen McLaughlin, who came off with a bad ankle on Saturday.

“It would be ironic if he didn't make it as he's missed Stephen Quinn more than anybody over the last six games.

“One of the features of those early games was the interplay between those two. They were major threat going down the left hand side.

“Hopefully we can get them paired back again very soon.

“Also, Will Forrester and Rhys Oates have had chest infections which came across as Covid symptoms, but they have had PCR tests and they were negative, which is a relief.”

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Clough could have two more defenders available in a couple of weeks.

“George Cooper was back out on the grass this morning and, if all goes well, we have an U23 game at Wigan a week on Wednesday in which we have him pencilled in,” he said.

“Kellan Gordon could be back in training at the end of this week and he would then play in the game at Wigan as well.”