Itâ€™s another local derby tomorrow (of sorts) as we renew rivalries with another old â€œfriendâ€ in the shape of Mansfield Town. Minds on both sides may be a little distracted by the collections and the fund raising for Matt Gadsby, but this is also an important game, as the Saddlers continue in the attempt to try and get some daylight between then and the following clubs. A gap is already starting to appear after the first five or six and this is a bit like a long distance race in a major Championship, where you keep applying the pressure until youâ€™re down to three, when the real race for first place can start. My God, Iâ€™ll be saying â€œitâ€™s a marathon, not a sprintâ€ next!
After a long period of two games in a week, Richard Moneyâ€™s men will be feeling the strain and the performances away at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury suggest that the first 11 is getting tired, despite the 4 points from the two games. The temptation will be for him to mix it up a little tomorrow.
Darren Wrack is now back in training and being looked at for a run out in the reserves next week against Barnsley and Nicholls has already appeared for them, but the game is probably too early him to play a part.
Ian Roper is fit again, as is James Constable, so the only other absentee is Allan Picken, who seems unable to shake off his troublesome knee injury.
If DD doesnâ€™t mix it up, then the team is likely to be:
Ince, Westwood, Roper, Gerrard, Taylor, Wright, Dobson, Keates, Fox, Sam, Butler
Also fighting for a chance will be Bossu, Pead, Dann, Kinsella, Constable, Bedeau, Demontagnac.
As for Mansfield, manager Shirtliff has no real injury worries. Striker Michael Boulding has been missing, but is now due for a return to the first team, and defender Jon Olav Hjelde, who has been out for a while, made his return on Tuesday night We have, of course, come across him before in his Nottingham Forest days.
Danger man is likely to be former Sheffield Wednesday and Stockport midfielder Matt Hamshaw, who is their top scorer this season, with 4 goals.
Mansfield go into the game in a fairly lowly 14th position. Their record so far this season is:
P 11 Won 3 Drawn 4 Lost 4 GD â€“1, Points 13
Away from home, however, is their weakness, the record being:
P 5 Won 0 Drawn 2 Lost 3 GF 3 GA 7 GD â€“4 Points 2.
Despite them getting a good win in the week, against Darlington on Tuesday, their away form suggests that they will struggle against a team with a home record of:
P 5 Won 5 Goals For 12 Goals Against 0 Points 15.
I think Iâ€™ll go for a home win.
Small Town In Poland Launch
Tomorrowâ€™s game will also see the launch of a new fanzine, â€œSmall Town In Polandâ€, to replace the now defunct NMFE. The club have been without a fanzine for a while and this launch is an exciting prospect, given the fact that its predecessor was only being released on a very ad hoc basis even before its final demise.
The first edition will be in honour of the Matt Gadsby fund and around half of the proceeds will be being donated, once the printing costs have been paid.
If you want to help with the distribution, or to contribute to future editions, PM Stu on the message board here.