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WARD - WE HAVE TO BE READY FOR A BATTLE

10 October 2013

Manager on Saturday's game

John Ward will be without a number of players for this Saturday’s trip to Mansfield, but the manager sees this as a chance for other people to step up.

Ellis Harrison and Seanan Clucas are away on international duty, while Matt Harrold and Mark McChrystal could miss the game with injuries.

John said: “Ellis and Seanan are away with their under 21 teams, which is great for them and good for the football club, but we could do with them at Mansfield.

“Tom Lockyer should be available, he us on stand-by for Wales, but they have not called him up, and I have my fingers crossed they don’t do that.

“Mark McChrystal has tendonitis of the knee and will need three to six weeks rest.

“I am going to speak with him today to see if there is one more game left in him, as we could do with that if we could get him out there. But there is no way I will risk his career or his fitness to do that. 

“Mark epitomises what we are trying to get throughout the squad, and if he is fit and able to play I am sure he will be out there, he is a good person to have around.

“Matt Harrold is struggling with a groin injury, and he is unhappy with it, so he is a doubt for Saturday

“If he is not able to play then we have to go without him and move on with the boys who are available to play.”

The manager will also be without Garry Kenneth, but Matt Gill is available if called upon.

John said: “Garry joined in the training session on Monday but he couldn’t finish the session because he is injured again.

“Matt Gill is fit and well, the possibility of him going out on loan is still available to him, and we will see what develops.

“If he is required on Saturday, which he may be, to be in the squad, he will do that.

“He is a really good pro, we will help him as much as we can and if he is required at Bristol Rovers, he will do the same for us.”

The manager believes his side will be in for a tough battle, after Mansfield attempt to bounce back after two defeats at home.

He said: “We are training well it has been a good week. It will be a tough one; they have just lost two at home, and some people might look at that and think they move another one, but you don’t often do that.

“They will be annoyed at their couple of defeats, and looking to take it out on us, so we have to be prepared for that.

“The whole league is full of mixed results, and we have to go there and tighten our game a little bit and make sure we are in for a battle, and we have to be strong.”

And John is keen to take the positives from last Saturday’s performance, despite the disappointing result.

He said: “Football is full of ifs and buts, but it is results that count. We did put in a good performance, but it gets changes by the two late goals against us.

“We have got to remind the players that for a large part of that game and stayed with it.

“We have got to stay with it, keep the confidence of the players as high as we can, and if we can go and get a result at Mansfield it will take us on.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player.

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