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Town Face Injury Crisis

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 26/08/2004

RUSSELL Slade faces a mounting injury crisis over the Bank Holiday weekend, when Town have to play Mansfield and Wycombe over the space of three days. At least five of his first choice XI are currently either ruled out or rated very doubtful for Saturday's home game with the Stags.

Simon Ramsden (neck) and Justin Whittle (back) have both missed all training sessions since the Wigan game, and the pair are rated doubtful. Greg Young is probably also ruled out - he failed to make even the bench on Tuesday after picking up an injury at home.

If two or three of the defence are ruled out, Russell Slade may be forced to switch to a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation, with Dean Gordon likely to play in a makeshift back two. Rookie defender Kirk Wheeler may be called up to make his first team debut for Grimsby.

Up front both Michael Reddy (knee) and Andy Parkinson (groin) will face fitness tests. Darren Mansaram and Clint Marcelle are on stand-by.

Mansfield, in comparison, have no known injury worries, and have won their last two games against Chester and Kidderminster. The Stags' midweek cup game with Preston was postponed due to a safety problem at Field Mill.

Mansfield manager Keith Curle made the most of the opportunity, telling Mansfield Today: "The one good thing to come out of our midweek postponement was that myself and John Gannon were able to get over and watch Grimsby play Wigan

"It will be tough there but it will be tough at all our away games. Grimsby were one of the pre-season promotion favourites. But it seems the media believe some clubs will win all 46 games and go straight back up and that is never going to be the case.

"You have your ebbs and flows but all that matters is that you are up there in the shake-up come the end of the season. I go into the weekend knowing we are capable of getting all six points".




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