Stags hoping Yussuf can hit the ground running

Adi Yussuf - Pic By James Williamson
Adi Yussuf - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town are hoping striker Adi Yussuf can hit the ground running next season after failing to fulfil his potential in his debut League season.

Yussuf, who started out as a youngster at Leicester City, caught the eye two seasons ago with 27 goals in 39 games for Conference South side Oxford City.

But the jump up in fitness needed for full-time football saw him caught short last season with Stags.

That resulted in Yussuf failing to start a game all season, though scoring five times in 30 appearances from the bench.

His hopes of a start were further hit when he was slapped with a five-game ban by the FA after Plymouth Argyle fans complained he had urinated behind their stand while warming up at Home Park.

“We think Adi deserves another shot at it,” said manager Adamn Murray after taking up his one-year option on the Tanzanian striker.

“We saw glimpses last season of what he can provide.

“He’s going to need a really good summer and he will be in over the summer working with DT (strength and fitness coach Daryl Taylor) doing a lot of conditioning work.

“Just before Adi got his ban he was hitting the fitness we felt he needed to start games.

“He will have a pre-season where he plays a lot of games and then it’s on his toes.

“It’s up to him to claim a place because the one thing you can’t say about Adi is that he doesn’t score goals. When he gets on the pitch he always has chances.

“So he deserves that chance in pre-season to grab a place.

“We will be bringing in other people in that area. The competition will be tough, but he’s got all the attributes to be a very good striker at this level. So he will have the chance.”