CHAD LATEST: BUXTON ON STANDBY
Buxton on standby
CHAD, 16 August 2006
JAKE Buxton is standing by for his first start of the season as Stags look to continue their unbeaten start to the season at Grimsby Town on Friday night (7.45pm).
Experienced Norwegian centre half Jon Olav Hjelde suffered a slight hamstring pull in Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Stockport and could miss out on the Grimsby trip.
That could give Buxton his big chance.
Stags assistant boss Paul Holland said: "Jon felt a tightening in his hamstring and, being the experienced player he is, Jon realised there was no point in carrying on and making it worse.
"If it has gone then he knew he would have been out five to six weeks. At the moment it looks more like seven to 10 days.
"He is improving every day at the moment but I think Jake would be the man to come in at Grimsby if Jon doesn't make it."
He added: "Jake has been waiting after missing the first three weeks of pre-season.
"He has kept himself in shape and this could be his chance. It is up to him to come in and take it."
Defensive back-up is one area Stags need to strengthen. They do have youngsters Chris Wood (currently out injured) and Austin McIntosh.
But Holland said: "We know what we need and we are out watching reserve games this week."
One possibility is a young left back called Connor Franklin who was at Leicester City at the same time as Peter Shirtliff.
He has trained with the club for a couple of weeks and played in yesterday's reserve friendly at his former club.
Stags' only other injury doubt for Friday is midfielder Giles Coke who has a knee injury.
"Giles is improving but Friday could come too soon," said Holland.
The Grimsby game was moved back from Saturday to Friday night and Holland added: "At the moment confidence is high and you just want game after game to come qucikly.
"Grimsby are a good team. They got in the play-offs last year and were a bit unucky not to get automatic promotion.
"We know it will be a tough game. But, away from home, we fancy our chances against anyone just now.
"We are content with our start to the season and we know there are a lot of things to work on. We are taking the positives out of each performance.
"We have now come back from behind in all three games and I don't think we did that more than three times in the whole of last season. The lads are now believing in what we are doing."
Grimsby have had a disappointing start to the campaign and manager Graham Rodger is hoping to bring in a couple of new fces to pep things up before Friday's game.
One could be 31-year-old former Cardiff City midfielder Willie Boland who is training with the Mariners this week.
After a home 3-2 local derby win over Boston United in their opening game, Grimsby have since slumped to away defeats at Wrexham (3-0) and Bristol Rovers (1-0).
Stags Supporters Association are running coaches to Stags' away games at Grimsby Town (Friday) and Huddersfield on Tuesday, 22nd August.
The Grimsby travel departs at 3.30pm and costs £10 for SSA Amber members, £12 for SSA Blue, £8 U16s and £6 for U10s.
For Huddersfield, departure time is 4.30pm and cost is £8 Amber members, £10 Blue, £8 U16s and £5 U10s.
Non-SSA members can join on the day - call 07967 689597 to book a seat.
Referee Kevin Wright's report confirmed he booked Matt Hamshaw for dissent in the win over Milton Keynes Dons.
Fans believed he had showed Stephen dawson a second yellow card but failed to send him off.
However, assistant boss Paul Holland said: "The referee said he booked Hamshaw and as far as we are concerned that is that.
"We looked at the video and it is not conclusive.
"But we have got to go with what he says and that is the end of the matter."