MAKE OR BREAK FOR EATON
MAKE OR BREAK FOR STAGS DEFENDER
NEXT Wednesday could be make or break for the career of Stags' defender Adam Eaton.
Dogged by injury last season and this, Eaton will travel to see the same specialist that sorted out Roy Keane's problems on Wednesday.
"If this injury is not dealt with correctly then it could be career-threatening," admitted Stags boss Keith Curle.
"It is an injury similiar to the one Roy Keane suffered. But Adam will get the best possible treatment and see the top person in the field."
Eaton's injury is a complicated one around the groin and hip joint and will involve re-attaching a ligament.
Curle is delighted that once again chairman Keith Haslam has offered his financial backing to the problem and Eaton will have two scans on Wednesday, costing around £1,000.
The first will pinpoint to the millimetre the exact point where surgery is needed and the second will see the extent of the damage on the hip rotaion joint.
Curle hopes surgery will follow that day or the next.
"If it is successful we could have Adam back with us within four weeks which would be superb. It would be like signing a new player.
"Adam is in a lot of discomfort right now. He has pushed himself to the limit but the problem keeps coming back and has not responded to treatment.
"He has worked so hard and it has been totally frustrating for him, even more so seeing how well we are playing."
STAGS HIT BY INJURIES AHEAD OF CRUNCH GAME
FOR the first time this season, Stags boss Keith Curle has major injury headaches ahead of Saturday's crunch match with League new boys Yeovil Town at Field Mill on Saturday.
Physio Ian Pearce had a queue of 20 players on Wednesday, nine of which were first teamers.
Dave Artell (hamstring), Craig Disley (back), Tony Vaughan (ankle) and Tom Curtis (lower back) were all hurt during Tuesday night's 3-2 success over Bury and all four are doubtful for Saturday.
"Ian is working long hours from first thing to last to get them patched up," said Curle.
"We'll just have to see how they go and maybe we'll get some of them back out there, even if they aren't 100 per cent.
"Ian has been giving them the love and care they need so, as you can imnagine, they have been running out the treatment room screaming!
"As ever, if players miss out then one door opens as another closes and whatever 11 I put out will give Yeovil a game."
Defender Luke Dimech and striker Colin Larkin are both improving, though Saturday could be too soon for them to return.
Saturday's showdown with Yeovil sees fifth-placed Stags up against the side one place above them in the table.
The League new boys have won their last three on the trot and Curle said: "They are still on a rollercoaster from their promotion last year and they are scoring goals while not conceding many. They have good movement and pace.
"But they will have seen we have scored 13 goals in our last three home games and I would hope they are more worried about our attacking threat than us of them.
"Apart from the three goals Bury scored against us, we have looked quite solid at the back and no one has cut up apart like we have cut up other teams.
"Hopefully our fans will turn out in force again and get behins us like they did on Tuesday. They were magnificent, even when we went behind. I think they are now starting to get that belief that we are not going to give in."
STAGS ARE SITTING PRETTY
MANSFIELD Town are sitting pretty in fifth position in Division Three after Tuesday night's thrilling 5-3 success over Bury at Field Mill.
Manager Keith Curle, short on strikers right now, successfully employed one out and out forward in Junior Mendes but, with midfield breaking so fast to support him, Bury often found themselves swamped under a tide of yellow shirts.
"I went to a meeting of the Stags Suporters' Associaition earlier this week and they were telling me I couldn't possibly play 4-4-1-1 at home - but why not?" said Curle.
"That was great entertainment and must have been good to watch for the neautral. There were two very good teams out there trying to play football in the right way.
"You could see why Bury were up in the play-off places last season - they are a decent team.
"Even at 4-3 I still felt confident we would win. I don't like giving teams a goal start and it came from the first ball they put into our box. But there is a belief in our dressing room right now that we won't give in.
"I take a lot of positives out that game. Obviously there were a few negatives which will need to be looked at as well but I am a positive person and, with the players and resources we had available, we scored five goals and created numerous other chances."
Stags now turn their attentions to Saturday's visit of League new boys Yeovil Town who will arrive on a high after chalking up three successive wins to move up into fourth spot - one place and one point above the Stags.
One blow for Mansfield last night was the sight of in-form central defender Dave Artell - August Player of the Month - limping off injured.
He has a very sore hamstring and he will be assessed today though is very doubtful for Saturday.
Latest | September 2003