Stags wait on snow situation for big Grimsby game

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Mansfield Town can only sit and wait on the weather as they prepare for their massive home clash with Grimsby Town tomorrow (7.45pm).

The One Call Stadium pitch was under a coating of snow today with more heavy snow forecast and sub-zero overnight temperatures for the second successive night ahead.

Stags went joint top after Saturday’s 4-1 home win over Stockport County and tomorrow’s scheduled match sees them start a run of three crucial games against title rivals inside eight days.

“It is in the lap of the gods right now,” said manager Paul Cox. “The pitch is covered in snow. That can be moved, but then it’s the temperatures we have to deal with.

“I will leave the pitch to the professionals and we will train as usual and prepare as if the game is definitely on.”

With Grimsby already catching up on a fixture on Stags’ one spare Tuesday, a postponement would probably mean the game having to be played on a Thursday.

With 11 games to go and a handful of clubs in with a shout of the title, Cox admitted it looked set to be a thrilling end to the season.

“All our games now are cup finals, and you can’t get bigger than a cup final,” he said. “It is human nature to look at the fixtures beyond Grimsby.

“But all we can do is concentrate on our most important fixture, which is the next game. We will tick Grimsby off and then look at the next one.

“The season will be over in the blink of an eye and we will either be celebrating or planning for another season in this division.

“Win, lose or draw against Grimsby, the result won’t decide if we get promotion or not. We are on a good run, but at some point we will lose a football match or drop points.

“So will all the other teams at the top. No one can carry on their runs. It is going to be fine lines.”

Grimsby arrive with the best defensive record in the division, having let in just 27 goals in 34 games.

But Cox wasn’t worried, adding: “We won’t be doing anything differently. We are playing with confidence and a little bit of flair, especially at home, and look like a side that is going to score goals. So we are confident, but keepings things level.

“Grimsby are a big club. They had a bad result at the weekend and, knowing their players, they will want to put that right. They will also bring a tremendous support here with them.

“But, if we give a good account of ourselves, we have a good chance of a winning a football match.”

As well as Craig Disley, among the Mariners’ squad making a return will be ex-Stag Tom Naylor and Cox said: “Tom was a good servant to this club and he is a lovely lad.

“I don’t know if he will be cheered or booed. But I will speak to him before the game and have a cup of tea with him afterwards. For the 90 minutes we will be enemies.

Louis Briscoe missed Saturday’s game with a tight glute muscle, but Cox is hopeful his star winger will be fit again to face Grimsby.

“I think Louis will be fine,” said Cox. “It is a not a bad injury. We brought him off against Woking and gave him a complete weekend off knowing he should then be all right for the Tuesday, Friday, Tuesday fixtures.”