Mansfield Town hoping to have key players back for crunch clash with Crawley Town

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough is hoping to have key players available as a dangerous Crawley Town visit for a crucial clash on Saturday.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 10:47 am

The biggest question mark hangs over top scorer Rhys Oates, who has been nursing a thigh strain while Stephen McLaughlin and George Maris both played with Covid last weekend and struggled.

But Mansfield will welcome back midfielder George Lapslie after completing a three game suspension.

“We have missed Rhys without a doubt,” said Clough.

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James Perch celebrates a recent Rhys Oates goal at Oldham Athletic.

“He is our most dangerous player, especially away from home when you need that bit of pace.

“Hopefully he will be back for the last four games and that will make a difference.

“When Rhys isn't playing, goalscoring becomes more of a problem for us.

“I would say he is 50/50 at the moment, but we're getting to the stage where we'll have to put him out there if it is that sort of odds.

“We will be guided by him and how he feels and everything. But we will do all we can to get him out there.

“George Lapslie is definitely available and we will see how the 'Covid twins are'. They are staying away for a couple of days to recover.”

In-form Crawley, who were recently taken over by cryptocurrency investors WAGMI United, have won five of their last six games including an away victory at play-off challengers Newport County with their only defeat seeing them pipped 2-1 at Salford City.

“Crawley are one of the most under-rated teams,” said Clough.

“They play in a certain way with some good technical footballers for League Two.

“Down there we dominated the first half, but second half, despite us winning the game, they came out and played some really good stuff. They play to feet and the movement is good. They rotate their players and everything. I think they are as good as anything and I love the way John (manager Yems) tries to get them to play.

“With the run they are having, if the season had gone on a few more weeks, I think they would have been serious challengers for the play-offs.

“But we just need to continue like we did at Carlisle. We have to take big plusses out of that and we know exactly where we lost the game.”