Rhys Oates and Stephen Quinn sidelined after scans as Mansfield Town injury crisis worsens

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough post match interview. Picture by Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough post match interview. Picture by Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Nigel Clough was forced to field the same 11 again in today's battling 0-0 home draw with Bradford City and has 11 players unavailable.

He said: “We are top seven yet we had 11 players couldn't start today and another double whammy this week with Rhys Oates and Stephen Quinn.

“We don't want to lose anybody but I couldn't think of two more important players at the moment to lose than those two.

“We miss Rhys' directness, even if he's coming off the bench or something to affect the game. He will be a huge miss for us.

“Their prognosis is not very good. Rhys ruptured ankle ligaments in that challenge right in the 90th minute at Hillsborough when he won a corner. The scans suggest two to three months.

READ MORE: Stags v Bradford full match report

“Stephen Quinn made a challenge down here against Stockport quite early in the first half and has nicked a ligament in the side of his knee and he will be a bit longer – between three and four months.

“Everyone else is just going to have to step up the next few weeks.”

He added: “Aaron Lewis has a chance for next Saturday, Hiram Boateng maybe the week after. So I am glad we have a quiet month.

“I am glad the Doncaster game has been moved from Tuesday as I am not sure we could have put a team out.

“The injuries are just incredible bad luck and misfortune. There are not two injuries the same. It is absolutely bizarre. It has been like it for 10-11 months now and we just have to get on with it. There is nothing else we can do.”

On today's game, he said: “It was a good point but I didn't think much of the performance, especially in the first half.

“I thought we got going a bit in the second half and created enough chances and situations. But the final cross or pass was missing today and we were nowhere near the levels we have been.

“But it has been a big week with two very tough games on Saturday and Tuesday, especially at Hillsborough. And we didn't have much choice in having to play the same team again today.

“There were a lot of tired legs and we had three players playing only their second games of the season.

“The lads have given absolutely everything this week. You can't doubt their commitment.

“Second half was a bit more like us and better finishing or a break in the penalty area and we might have nicked it 1-0.

“Bradford are very well organised, well drilled and very difficult to break down. We had to be at our best to do that, but we found it tough.

“We are never happy with a 0-0 at home but it's nice to keep the unbeaten run going. And we have to put it into perspective in terms of what we have gone through this week. You have to allow us a little bit for that.”

It was a quiet deadline day for Mansfield yesterday with just youngster Taylor Anderson heading out on loan to Ilkeston for a month.

Clough said: “We did try to get a loan in yesterday – a young striker – but couldn't quite manage it.

“But there are a few free agents out there that we have spoken to before the window shut. We will pick up on those next week.

“Everybody wants to try to get better. Being a free agent used to be a bit of a stigma. But now they are the only ones we can sign for the next four months.”