STAGS FIGHT TO OVERCOME INJURY CRISIS
STAGS FIGHT TO OVERCOME INJURY CRISIS
Evening Post, 15 August 2002
Mansfield Town manager Stuart Watkiss is facing fresh injury problems before the Stags travel to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Allen Tankard, who was expected to make an appearance at Adams Park, has broken down in training and is suffering with tendonitis in his knee.
The situation has been made worse as David Jervis is set to undergo an X-ray on his hand, after it was injured in the 3-2 defeat at Wigan on Tuesday.
And, with Bobby Hassell (knee) and Shayne Bradley (ankle) both unlikely to figure against Lawrie Sanchez's side, Watkiss admits he is down to the bare bones.
He said: "Allen's injury is a blow and he is now going to be out of contention for Saturday, and we will be monitoring David after his X-ray.
"There is a possibility there may be a fracture but we will have to keep our fingers crossed.
"If there is a problem, then we will be in trouble."
An injury to Jervis would leave Watkiss with only three defenders, Stuart Reddington, Neil Moore and Jamie Clarke, who has only played one game in the Nationwide League.
With Dion Scott out for three to four months with a shoulder injury and Matthew Gadsby now back at Walsall, Watkiss has a replacement in mind, and is still trying to agree a deal with veteran Keith Curle in the short term.
He said: "I have got an experienced defender in mind but he is in negotiation with his present club, who say he can go.
"I remain hopeful that something can be sorted out for the weekend but I am not holding my breath.
"There have been a lot of positives to take from the two games so far and I am very pleased with the way the boys have adapted to different situations.
"The football we have played has been excellent."
Stags' defensive crisis worsens
STAGS defensive crisis worsened ahead of Saturday's trip to Wycombe Wanderers.
David Jervis may need a second X-ray on the wrist injury he picked up in Tuesday night's 3-2 defeat at Wigan with the club believing he may have fractured his scaphoid bone.
And former England international Keith Curle may yet decide not to join the club short-term and is talking to Barnsley today.
Whatever happens it is unlikely to be resolved in time for the Wycombe game.
Manager Stuart Watkiss' efforts to bring in another central defender are moving along but also may not come to fruition in time for Saturday.
Allen Tankard has had a set-back with his injury and Bobby Hassell is still not training so the defensive bones are certainly bare.
Watkiss smiled: "I really wanted to go with a back four at Wycombe but it looks more likely to be a back two!
"With David we are worried that, although the first X-ray showed nothing broken, it is sometimes hard to see the fracture with this bone and if he keeps getting pain we will have him X-rayed again.
"I am hoping to get a phone call regarding a central defender I want to bring in and that takes priority over getting Keith Curle short-term.
"We will just have to see what happens with both of them."
Although delighted with his side scoring six times in their first two games, Watkiss is frustrated that all but one of the six conceded have been from set pieces.
"We have an Achilles' Heel and we need to do something about it quickly," said Watkiss.
"John Gregory was watching us the other night and I told him there was no need to bother running the rule over us. Just get the ball in the box from a corner or free kick and it's as good as getting a penalty!
"It scares me to death that Wycombe are noted for their set pieces. We have to be better.
"It is a lovely ground to play at, the pitch will be perfect, and we will have to keep a close eye on David Currie who has two good feet and makes them tick.
"But if we can reproduce the passing football we have shown in our first two games then there is no reason why we can't give a good account of ourselves down there."
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