Mansfield Town were dealt a pre-match blow ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to Luton Town with the news that midfield tiger Jamie McGuire may miss out again with a setback on his leg injury.
McGuire won the club’s Player of the Month last month, but missed last weekend’s home draw with Wycombe Wanderers after suffering a leg injury in training which ended up with him passing out due to extreme swelling and having to go to hospital.
The injury improved over the weekend and the early part of the week, but a build-up of fluid has set him back and on the hopes of him playing at Luton, boss Adam Murray today said: “I am going to say no.
“I thought he would be, but he’s had to go back to the hospital today to try to have something drained. So I think Saturday will be too soon.
“So we are going to have to re-jig. We missed him. It’s a massive statement but I think if we’d had him last Saturday, we’d have won.
“That’s no disrespect to anyone who played, but he gives us something that not many people do.”
Murray continued: “It’s a dying art in the game, that old school mentality.
“Having a personality on the pitch. It’s gone - that know-how, that little bit of a rough edge at times. We missed it on Saturday.
“He got player of the month for a reason and has been a massive part of what we’ve done over the last few weeks. We want him back as soon as we can.”
Murray admitted his respect for what McGuire offers had ballooned since ex-manager Paul Cox signed him for the Stags to join Murray in the midfield, as before that Murray was far from a McGuire fan.
“He was someone as a player I didn’t like,” said Murray. “When I came across him he was nasty, horrible, and we used to have some scraps. We used to poke each other in the eyes.
“Then when Paul signed him and we played together, you appreciate what he does.
“I have now stepped onto this side of my relationship with Jammer, and it’s become very close.
“He is probably one of my right hand men in the changing rooms, along with a couple of others, and he has been fantastic. He does the things that go unnoticed.
“But the big thing he does for me is he keeps the group ticking over, as well as the skipper, and he brings the club together, which is a massive thing.
“He has got a lot of passion for the club. It means something to him.
“He cares – that’s one of the biggest things. It’s not just a job for him. It’s a life and death scenario which you don’t find any more.”