Mansfield manager Cox wants to extend Futcher’s stay

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ALTHOUGH Ben Futcher is just two weeks into his month’s loan, Stags boss Paul Cox will be speaking to Bury manager Richie Barker about keeping Futcher at Field Mill as long as he can.

The giant central defender has helped Stags shore up their rearguard and Cox said: “I think he has done a tremendous job and I do want to look at keeping him here longer.

“I need to speak to the player and Richie Barker as Ben is a Bury player and I have to be respectful of both their wishes. A lot needs sorting out.

“The lad is a winner. You can tell that by his performances and how he is in training and the dressing room. He has brought a mentality into the club and you want to keep players like that.

“You need high calibre players to compete at the top end. But I have a wage bill to deal with which I have to respect and I may need to wheel and deal to free some money up.”

Stags could have huge competition for the two central defensive slots soon with Futcher and Richie Sutton in there last weekend but Tom Naylor fit again, Martin Riley almost fit, Rhys Day back in training and John Thompson starting his road to recovery with some light training next week.

All that leaves the future looking bleak for Nick Wood, who has only signed for a month. But Cox said: “I think Nick has been unlucky so far. But he still has two weeks with us and anything can happen yet.”

Cox has heard nothing more from the Premiership club or League One club interested in signing Tom Naylor but confirmed they would have to stump up at least a six figure fee plus add-ons, though it could be paid in instalments.

Matt Bell has joined Solihull Moors on a month’s loan and Cox confirmed that other squad players may be sent out on loan soon to keep them match sharp with no reserve side at Field Mill again this season.