EATON HOPING TO FACE IMPS
Eaton hoping to face Imps
STAGS manager Keith Curle must decide whether or not to throw Adam Eaton in at the deep end for Saturday's visit of neighbours Lincoln City to Field Mill (3pm).
Left back Eaton has been out injured all season, having also missed a chunk of last season with persistent groin problems.
Since then he has undergone various operations and injections and finally returned to the first team squad in full time training this week.
Tony Vaughan has made the left back spot his own in Eaton's absence this season but will miss the Lincoln clash with a one-game ban for getting five yellow cards.
Curle has to decide whether or not to pitch Eaton back in or opt for one of the other defenders champing at the bit such as Luke Dimech, Jamie Clarke and Jake Buxton.
He hasn't been helped by the postponement of Wednesday's proposed reserve friendly against Peterborough at Rainworth Welfare in which Eaton was to play 90 minutes.
"That was frustrating but thankfuly it was called off early enough to let Peterborough know not to travel," said Curle.
"There is no doubt Tony Vaughan will be missed on Saturday. He has come in and been very consistent, giving us balance and organisation at the back.
"Adam has come back into the fold and has had four or five days training in which he has looked good.
"I know if I decide to pick him he will give a good account of himself. But there are other options and I will not make a decision just yet."
Curle said his squad were not allowing next Tuesday's FA Cup replay against Wycombe Wanderers to distract them from the Lincoln clash.
"Anyone not doing their job against Lincoln because they are thinking about the Wycombe game will find themselves watching the Wycombe game with me from the bench," he said.
"Lincoln are direct, strong and organised and the way they play has brought them success this season.
"We must pit our wits against them and hopefully we'll come out on top.
"It should be a big crowd for what is looked upon as a local derby and it should be an entertaining game with two sides playing different styles of football.
"The lads had last weekend and also Wednesday off and are bright and ready. Sometimes rest is as important as the work we do.
"Gone are the days of players spending days off in the pub or bookies. My lads look after themselves in a profesional maner and that is shown on the field."
Lincoln boss and former Stags striker and assistant manager Keith Alexander was released from hospital this week after his brain operation.
He is not well enough to rejoin the Imps yet but Curle said: "It is good news Keith is out of hospital.
"Football supporters and football lovers everywhere will be pleased that one of our own is back and on the mend."
After going a superb 18 games with only one defeat, the Imps have just lost successive away games on the trot, 3-1 at Yeovil and 3-0 at Southend in the FA Cup.
They will be without striker Francis Green (groin strain) but midfielder Richard Liburd has recovered from a dead leg.
Lincoln have taken Hartlepool striker Marcus Richardson on loan for the second time this season this week.
Richardson scored five times in 13 appearances for Lincoln earlier this season before being recalled. This time the Imps hope to make the move a permanent one.
Latest | December 2003