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Archived News from April 2003

15th April 2003 13:05


IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 15 April 2003

Influential Mansfield defender Rhys Day will miss the rest of the season after an X-ray revealed he broke his jaw in the early stages of Saturday's 5-2 defeat at Bristol City.

The Welsh Under-21 captain clashed with City skipper Tommy Doherty in the fifth minute but played through the pain. And manager Keith Curle, who was playing alongside Day at the heart of the Stags defence, said the youngster epitomised the commitment he claims was lacking in some of his other players.

He said: "Rhys went up a lot in my estimations on Saturday.

"After the injury happened, he went up for a couple of aerial challenges and I could hear how much it was hurting him.

"He played on and showed a great desire not to let everyone down and that was admirable.

"It is a clean fracture and all that he can do is take a complete rest so, unfortunately, that is his season over."

The news could be even worse as Adam Eaton waits to see a specialist about his hernia problem.

Eaton limped out of action at half-time at Ashton Gate and has not trained at Stags for two weeks.

His season could well be over if the news suggest the problem would be aggravated by continuing to play.

If that happens, he will have an immediate operation, ruling him out for the remainder of the campaign as well.

Stags entertain Barnsley on Saturday and then travel to Blackpool and Tranmere before entertaining basement boys Northampton Town on the last day of the season.

The manager has consistently said that 50 points would be enough to keep the Stags up, but that now means they need to take three wins and a draw from these games.

Curle said: "Adam has not trained with us for a couple of weeks but still wants to go out there and give it a go.

"We will just have to see what the specialist says but I am currently looking to get a little bit more out of every player.

"If it is going to be a problem, then we will have to make sure he is fit for the start of next season. That then has to become our priority.

"Players like that make me very proud.

"I have got a level of commitment and desire ad there are standards that I will not accept.

"People who don't show that level will certainly have a question mark against them."

The injuries leave Curle with just three senior defenders, including himself, and could present an opportunity for either Jake Buxton or Alex John-Baptiste.

Both have impressed in recent reserve matches, the next of which will be a visit to Scarborough tomorrow (kick-off, 2pm).


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