Keeper dilemma for Stags

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STAGS have a big decision to make over the keeper’s shirt for tomorrow night’s visit of relegation-threatened Southport.

With Alan Marriott breaking a finger on his return from a six-month lay-off at the weekend, he won’t know his chances of making the FA Trophy final at Wembley on 7th May until after a scan on the digit tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime the Stags have to decide whether to play the in-form Notts County loanee David Grof or bring back reserve keeper Neil Collett, who hasn’t played since12th February, to possibly start getting him ready for Wembley if needed with Grof ineligible.

“We are lucky to have three good keepers here so we still have two very able replacements for Alan,” said assistant boss Paul Hall.

“Alan was doing well on his return until he spilled the ball and one of their forwards goes in and leaves him with nine fingers. We are now hoping it’s not too bad when he goes for his scan tomorrow.

“We are as devastated as Alan about this injury as we have so many big games coming up.”

Apart from Marriott and Rhys Day, every Stags player was back in training today after seven were left on the treatment table at the weekend, though not all are expected to be fit enough to rejoin the squad by tomorrow.

Hall added: “Southport are fighting for their lives and we will give them the same respect as we would for clubs like Crawley and Luton.

“If you don’t do that in this league you will come unstuck.

“It would be nice not to go behind as well. We are certainly the comeback kings in this league and, even though we keep going behind, we always fight back and no one should ever leave one of our games early.

“Four of our next five games are at home which is a great opportunity to get some points on the board. We can still turn this into a great season for us.

“You look at playing Southport tomorrow and then Hayes and Yeading on Saturday and we have got to fancy ourselves in both those games.”