MacDonald to prove fitness in Peterborough friendly

Alex MacDonald.
Alex MacDonald.

Mansfield Town winger Alex MacDonald could be fit by the weekend to give the Stags a chance of a fully fit squad to travel to bogey side Accrington Stanley.

MacDonald has recovered well from minor knee surgery and will play some part in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Peterborough United tomorrow afternoon.

David Mirfin, who was rested due to a slight knee injury on Saturday, is also back in training today while all traces of last week’s virus in the camp seem to be on the way out as Stags prepare to play an Accrington side they have failed to beat in their last 11 meetings.

“Alex will probably play for 45 minutes or an hour at Peterborough – we’ve not decided yet,” said manager Steve Evans.

“We will probably judge it on the day to see how he is feeling at the 45-minute mark. He has trained for three or four days now and was back in full contact on Friday. “I have been up and watched him this morning and he is looking particularly bright.

“He is always a cheeky chappy. He was trying to pull my shirts down from the back! He had better watch his haircut as I will be giving him one.”

On the side to face the Posh tomorrow, he added: “It will be the boys that need some game time.

“I don’t need to tell you who’s not up there with the minutes from the start of the season.

“They will get some game time, whether it’s 45, 60 or 90 minutes.

“We will see when we get there with one eye on Accrington on Saturday.

“We must make sure everyone is really competitive Thursday and Friday to be playing at Accrington. “Chances are we will be playing a totally different game up there to what we had against Forest Green. They are both good opponents.

“Accrington lost a high-scoring game down at Yeovil on Saturday. I have watched that back and it has to be said perhaps they should have won the game.

“We are trying to make sure we give everyone an opportunity as, chances are it won’t be the same team.”

On Mirfin’s injury, Evans said: “If we were 10 games in on Saturday and didn’t have another game for another week then David would have played on Saturday.

“The fact was he had played the full game at Crewe and had another tough game in hazardous conditions on Tuesday with the way the weather was against Rochdale. And he did get a clatter on his knee late on. “But he has trained today and he’s fine.”

Evans was please to see the back of a virus that the club kept quiet last week.

“I think there are still one or two that are a little bit down with it.

“Jacob Mellis was down with it a bit so it made it easy for Paul Digby to play, even though I thought Jacob played well at Crewe.

“Lee Angol was probably the worst affected but a few others surprised me with their energy levels on Saturday – Will Atkinson and Paul Anderson were suffering a little bit.

“They are running 12.5 kilometres in a game – it’s incredible.

“We look back at these stats and we can see everyone gave everything for the cause on Saturday, which is what we need to do for 46 League games.

“If we can do that and be as hard-working as the opposition for 46 games we will be in the shake-up at the end.”