Crisis worsens for threadbare Mansfield Town ahead of Barrow visit
Threadbare Mansfield Town will take on visiting Barrow this Saturday with at least seven first team players ruled out and worries over a few more.
Stags battled to a first clean sheet of the season in Saturday's fine 0-0 draw at high-flying Leyton Orient but had Tyrese Sinclair sent off and George Maris come off injured to add to their woes.
“You don't expect this many out,” said boss Nigel Clough.
“You work on 10 per cent, which is a couple of players, or 20 per cent at worst, which is four.
“But we've lost seven now and two are self-inflicted by getting sent off, which is inexcusable.
“The injuries are to such important players too. I don't think we've won a game since James Perch has been out the team.
“But over the years I have been in this position before and you just have to get on with it and deal with it.
“It gives an opportunity to everybody else. Harry Charsley and Jordan Bowery are back in the team now.
“It's up them now to take the chance and stay in so when the others become available we can't put them back in.”
Stags are waiting for news on injured duo Ryan Stirk and Kellan Gordon.
“We have had slightly differing diagnoses for Ryan's ankle ligaments injury,” said Clough.
“One was hopefully three or four weeks but there was also a more pessimistic one of longer than that.
“He is in a 'boot' at the moment and back in Birmingham having treatment. We hope it's the lower end of the scale.
“Kellan is seeing a specialist after his knee flared up after the Rochdale game.”
Clough knows he will have to turn to youngsters to fill the bench on Saturday.
“We do have the first year pros,” he said.
“That's what you have an academy. To try to bring your own players through and have an opportunity in the first team.
“George Cooper travelled with us on Saturday as 19th man in case anything had happened and he will most likely be on the bench on Saturday.”
On three other new doubts, he added: “George Maris has trained okay on Tuesday which is a bit of a relief. It was just on his eye which meant it was closing and impairing his vision.
“But it was nothing serious and it was a big relief we got through training without any other injuries!
“But two others didn't train. Oli Hawkins' back is stiff after all those balls he headed. He should be fine for Saturday - it was just precautionary.
“Also, Ollie Clarke got a whack on the nose and has gone to see someone as he might have a break in there and need it resetting, but hopefully he will be all right for Saturday too.
“So if no one else gets hurt in training this week it will hopefully be just the seven missing!”