MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox joked he might have to pick himself against Oxford United tomorrow after suffering a host of injury problems one week into the season.
Budget cuts during the summer mean the Stags have trimmed their squad to 22 professionals.
Stretched resources were hit during Wednesday night’s 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield United, when striker Liam Hearn and centre back Martin Riley limped off.
Cox told the Mansfield Chad: “Before the game we said that one thing we didn’t want was any injuries as we only had 18 fit players before the game.
“Yet we lost two more. It feels like we’ve run over a black cat at the minute in terms of injury and I could end up playing on Saturday.”
Both players have been sent for scans, with Hearn having an outside chance of making tomorrow’s squad.
Ex-United midfielder Adam Murray is another doubt with a back problem, but even if he is not fit there will be other familiar faces in the line-up.
Midfielder Simon Heslop, who spent three years with the U’s before being released last summer, has made a strong start to life at Field Mill after moving from Stevenage.
- Simon Heslop is among a host of Mansfield players with Oxford United connections
Up front, former United trainee Alex Fisher will lead the line after scoring at Bramall Lane in midweek.
Mansfield’s three-man defence includes John Dempster and Ryan Tafazolli, who went on a pre-season tour to the United States with the U’s two years ago as part of an unsuccessful trial.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704.
Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news:
4:00pm Thursday 26th March 2015
OXFORD United have signed Peterbrough striker Kyle Vassell on loan until the end of the season.
8:00am Thursday 26th March 2015
Sam Long hit the opener and made the second as a youthful Oxford United development side beat their Oxford City counterparts 2-0 yesterday.
8:00am Tuesday 24th March 2015
Midfielder Michael Collins says head coach Michael Appleton’s calm persona will help banish Oxford United’s relegation fears.
9:30am Monday 23rd March 2015
MICHAEL Collins believes Oxford United’s players have to fight for their livelihoods and be willing to put their bodies on the line for the sake of the club’s Football League status, writes JACK JOHNSON.
8:00am Monday 23rd March 2015
Michael Appleton was left disappointed by Oxford United’s lack of cutting edge, after his side did everything but score against promotion-chasing Shrewsbury Town, writes JACK JOHNSON.