CHAD PREVIEWS FRIENDLIES
Action starts for tired Stags
CHAD, 10 July 2002
Mansfield Town begin their pre-season fixtures this week with two early injury worries, writes John Lomas.
Pre-season training has already claimed Lee Williamson (ankle) and Bobby Hassell (knee), and neither will figure in Friday's opener at Glapwell (7pm) or next Monday's trip to Belper Town (7.30pm).
But manager Stuart Watkiss has lined up a behind-closed-doors friendly at Rotherham a week tomorrow which he hopes one or both could make.
"It is unfortunate but you always seem to pick up injuries early in pre-season training," said Watkiss.
"But we want them back as soon as possible as they need a full pre-season under their belts."
Watkiss said supporters going to the first three or four pre-season games must understand the players will be going into them extremely tired as part of the fitness regime.
"Often in the past players would just come in for a pre-season game," he said. "But to help build up their stamina this time we are going to work them very hard on the day of the game and then get them to play tired the same evening.
"Supporters need to know that they won't see the lads really sharp and buzzing just yet. But this will help us in the long run particularly near the end of games."
Watkiss, who with the arrival of former Forest and Swindon midfielder Bobby Howe on Monday now has four trialists in, will give everyone currently fit half a game each at both Glapwell and Belper.
He is hoping for news on offers he has made on a striker and a midfielder by Monday, but could know sooner.
Former Stags striker Micky Boulding continues to amaze.
Often a bit part player and 'super sub' at Mansfield, after leaving Stags on a Bosman last summer he surprised everyone by joining First Division Grimsby and doing well, and this week was given a deal by Premiership Aston Villa.
Latest | July 2002