Football - Shirtliff forced into changes for FA Cup opener

PETER Shirtliff will be forced into at least two changes in his first game as full-time Mansfield Town manager when they travel to Rotherham United for their FA Cup first round tie on Saturday (3pm).

Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce has asked Shirtliff not to play on-loan midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea as he doesn't want him cup-tied.

And left back Gareth Jelleyman will begin the first of a three game ban after his red card at Cheltenham United last weekend.

Shirtliff has just enjoyed the luxury of an unchanged side for three games.

Added headaches are minor knocks to Simon Brown and Gus Uhlenbeek which have prevented them training. Brown has a swollen foot and Uhlenbeek an ankle injury, but both are expecetd to be fit for Saturday.

Shirtliff is keeping his proposed line-up close to his chest but Jason Talbot would be an automatic left back swap while Stephen Dawson would slot back into midfield.

Rotherham United's only win in the last eight games has been an LDV Vans Trophy success over Accrington Stanley.

But Shirtliff is fully aware how difficult it will be on Saturday.

"They may be disappointed with recent results but, let's be honest, Rotherham are from a division higher than us and therefore start the match as favourites," he said.

"Millmoor is never an easy place to go and Mick Harford will have them well prepared, make no mistake. They have a decent home record.

"But we have nothing to lose as underdogs. Hopefully we can just go there and give them a good game and, if we get the breaks, we just might get a result.

"We have played well in cup ties this season and we are looking forward to it. The FA Cup is always exciting and it would be great for our fans if we could go on a decent cup run."

Mansfield Town had sold out of their 850-ticket allocation this morning and no more tickets will be made available to Stags fans in advance or on the day.