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14:24 24th June 2016
By  Andy Phillips

Mansfield Preview

Town head to Field Mill for an early afternoon showdown at Mansfield Town on Saturday (12:15pm), with a bumper away crowd set to follow the Mariners on their travels.

The club have sold out their 1600 allocation for the fixture, and boss Paul Hurst will be hoping to give the terrific away contingent something to shout about by bouncing back from the 2-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra at the weekend.

Ninth placed Mansfield have had a very solid start to the season, and whilst they have only scored seven goals in their eight games so far, they have also only conceded the same amount this season, meaning that Town will have to be at their best if they are to continue to show their attacking prowess this campaign.


Town have a fully fit squad to choose from for the first time this season, with Sean McAllister, Rhys Browne and Dan Jones all having recovered from their respective injuries in time for the fixture. This gives Town boss Paul Hurst a number of options, and it remains to be seen whether he will make changes to last weekend's side.

Mansfield have had a number of injury issues so far this campaign, but they could welcome midfielder Chris Clements and defender Kyle Howkins back if both prove their fitness. Two men that will definitely be missing for the Stags are centre-half George Taft, who will be out for between four and six weeks, as well as midfielder Jack Thomas, who continues his recovery from a groin injury.


As previously mentioned, Mansfield's games have largely been tight affairs so far this campaign, and they go into Saturday's game without a win in three games. However, despite that, the Stags are now an established League Two side once again after promotion from the National League back in 2013.

They remain a very difficult side to play against and are now managed by former captain Adam Murray, who replaced promotion winning manager Paul Cox in December 2014, becoming the youngest manager in the top four divisions at the age of 32 in the process.

Murray managed to secure the club's place in League Two after a difficult start to the season under Cox in his first few months at the helm, and in his first full campaign last time out, the Stags finished in the top half, which they will be hoping to build on this season.

Murray brought in the likes of former Bury striker Danny Rose, experienced target man Darius Henderson and ex-Mariner Pat Hoban over the summer in order to bolster the club's striking options, and they will join main man Matt Green, who returned last summer from Birmingham City after being prolific in the National League and has hit 3 goals so far this term.


Paul Hurst: ''Last season, they were just outside of the play-offs for the majority of the season and looked to push on and get one of those spots but probably struggled against the teams higher up. They maybe couldn't find that bit of quality to get the points they needed to push themselves but this season, I'm sure the idea is to progress and I'm sure Adam will be looking at pushing for those play-off positions.''

Adam Murray: ''They’ve had a solid start but so have we. We want to come out of the blocks on Saturday. It’s our home ground and we want to start making this a place where people fear coming. I need the shackles off the lads on Saturday and I want us to play.“

Watch Paul Hurst's full pre-match press conference below.