THE fitness of leading scorer Paul Connor is causing the most concern ahead of Mansfield Town’s home FA Cup first round tie with League Two Torquay United this Saturday (3pm).
The experienced eight-goal striker limped out of last weekend’s 4-1 home defeat by Crawley Town with a thigh strain and remains a doubt for Saturday.
Defender Steve Cook (knee) and striker Luke Medley (knee) have also been under treatment this week but look likely to be fit.
Simon Grand looks almost certain to return to the centre of defence as Rhys Day starts a three game ban for last Saturday’s straight red card.
Torquay have only lost twice in their 10 away games this season and assistant boss Duncan Russell said: “I have been up against Torquay a few times and been lucky enough to get good results against them.
“They play with two wingers and I would imagine that’s how they will go on Saturday, 4-4-2 and the ball wide.
“We know they will be a challenge but we have players here that can rise to the occasion.
“They know we are going through a lean spell and will expect they can take advantage of that and win the game.
“I don’t believe we would have lost last weekend if we hadn’t been down to 10 men. The lads are hurting but we mustn’t dwell on it.
“We won’t let anyone’s heads drop as that can spread like a cancer.
“We want to win this game and progress in the FA Cup. I enjoyed a great cup run at Yeovil and, living in Derby, saw them have one too and it can be an unbelievable experience for a player to face the best teams in the land if you can get to round three.”