HUTCH OUT FOR THE SEASON / HARTLEPOOL PREVIEWS
Hutchinson ruled out for season
mansfieldtown.net, 24th March 2014
Striker Ben Hutchinson is set to miss the rest of the season due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/hutchinson-ruled-out-for-season-1439776.aspx?#KLwDdebezZ07zpUR.99
The 26-year-old, who has made 18 appearances this term, suffered the injury in the early stages of last week’s FTD League Cup Semi-Final victory over Leicester City.
First Team Coach Micky Moore confirmed the news in an interview with the local press this morning.
“Unfortunately Ben pulled his hamstring in the reserve game against Leicester City,” said First Team Coach Micky Moore.
“It looks like he’s going to be [out injured] for six to eight weeks, so that could see him ruled out for the rest of the season, which is a big shame.”
Moore added: “It’s a big blow. Ben is a good player with a lot of experience and he will be missed.”
Moore expects tough test at Hartlepool
mansfieldtown.net, 24th March 2014
First Team Coach Micky Moore is anticipating a tough examination tomorrow night, as we head to Victoria Park to face Colin Cooper’s in-form Hartlepool United.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/moore-expects-tough-test-at-hartlepool-1440423.aspx?#uzJxWemgR7Ll9MPg.99
Despite earning a good point after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with neighbours Chesterfield, our team remained in 18th position in Sky Bet League Two - and five points above the drop zone.
“It’ll be a very difficult game,” said Moore. “They’re six points off the Play-Offs and in their last five games at home, they’ve won four, drawn one, and haven’t conceded a goal in those games.
“On recent form, they’re the top team in our league. Nobody has got a better record than them. They started off slowly, but have picked up a little bit of momentum, so it’ll be a difficult game and a hard place to go.”
Moore also reflected on last Saturday’s encounter with Chesterfield at One Call Stadium, which finished in a stalemate as our team were unable to convert any of their late chances.
“On Saturday, although people might say that a draw was a fair result, we felt we edged it in terms of opportunities - especially near the end, as there was only one team looking to win it and that was ourselves,” continued Moore.
“So is it a point gained or is it two points lost? Only time will tell, but we’re in good form, we think that we’re playing well and the mood in the camp is excellent.”
Looking at the Sky Bet League Two relegation battle as a whole, he added: “The one thing that you’ve got to do is keep your cool and your composure and just worry about the next game.
“There are a lot of teams in the mix down there, so at this minute in time it’s hard to predict who will do what. We’ve just got to take care of ourselves and just focus on the [game at] Hartlepool.
“We believe and trust that we’ve got enough in the camp to get enough points to climb up this league and pull out of [the position that we’re in] quite quickly.”
In team news, centre-back Ryan Tafazolli is rated as 50/50 for tomorrow night’s match at Victoria Park. However, Darryl Westlake will be available for selection again after serving a one-match ban.
Meanwhile, Ben Hutchinson is set to miss the remainder of the campaign due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury.
To hear the full interview with Micky Moore ahead of tomorrow’s match, visit Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.
Double injury blow as Stags seek first midweek win at Hartlepool
chad.co.uk, 24 March 2014
Mansfield Town have been hit a by a double injury blow as they prepare to chase their first midweek win of the season at Hartlepool United.
Central defender Ryan Tafazolli has a sore foot after a tackle on Saturday while Ben Hutchinson has been ruled out for the season.
Stags first team coach Micky Moore said: “Ryan took a knock on his foot late on against Chesterfield.
“He will some treatment this morning and this afternoon. There is another 48 hours to the game so we will give him every opportunity to be fit.
“But I would have to say he is 50-50 at this moment.”
On Hutchinson, he added: “Ben pulled his hamstring in the reserve game against Leicester in midweek and it looks like six to eight weeks.
“That could see him out for the rest of the season. That’s a shame. It is a big blow as he is a good player with a lot of experience.
“Ben has had one or two hamstring problems this year and this one looks to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. He has really pinged it.”
Moore is under no illusions how hard it will be in the North-East tomorrow night.
“It will be a very difficult game,” he said “They are six points off the play-offs and 11th in the table. But they are currently top of the table on home form. They have won four and drawn one of their last five home games and not conceded a goal in any of them.
“Colin Cooper has done a great job. They started slowly but they have now got a bit of momentum. It is a hard place to go.
“But the mood in our camp is excellent at the moment.
“We felt we should have won at Northampton last week and we felt we had enough chances near the end to have beaten Chesterfield on Saturday as well. Also, we have been playing well away from home.”
Another worry for Stags is how much the players will have left in their tanks tomorrow after giving so much in Saturday’s 0-0 local derby draw with Chesterfield.
After giving their all in the home win against Fleetwood on a Saturday last month, Stags crashed 4-1 at home to Bury in midweek and there is a worry that could happen again.
“It is possible and it’s something we have to look at,” said Moore “Do we change it and who?
“We played well at home against Fleetwood and got the result, then lost in midweek.
“Midweeks have been very disappointing and we haven’t won one all season. This is our last one, apart from Bank Holiday Monday so it would be nice to go up there and get a win.”
Hartlepool United look to return to winning ways against Mansfield Town
HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is demanding his side get back to winning ways against Mansfield Town tonight and close the gap on the play-offs.
The 1-0 defeat at Oxford United on Friday night saw Pools drop to 11th with 49 points, seven points off Southend United in seventh.
With only eight games of the season left to play time is running out for Pools yet their 47-year-old manager is remaining positive ahead of the Stags’ (KO 7.45pm) visit.
In the corresponding fixture in October, Pools ran out 4-1 winners with stunning strikes from Andy Monkhouse, James Poole and a Jack Compton double.
That dominating away result sparked a run of four consecutive league wins and Cooper will be hoping for the same again tonight.
It is the first of back-to-back home matches, with Cheltenham Town the visitors on Saturday, and it presents another “opportunity” to close the gap on the top seven.
Cooper said: “We are more than a match for any team in this league when we believe and have the confidence to go and do what we want to do.
“On Friday there was one or two of our players looking a bit passive but the lads have been great overall.
“We were just a little bit short - not in too many areas but in the decisive areas.
“We have two home games this week and the matches are two more opportunities.
“We missed one on Friday but we have two more and we now have to see if we can bridge that gap.
“As I keep saying, the more that games tick by, if you are not bridging that gap then it becomes very hard but we will give it a good go.
“I can’t fault what I am getting though, we were just a bit short on quality against Oxford.”
Cooper will tonight be missing the injured pair of Andy Monkhouse, out for at least a month with a hamstring strain, and Neil Austin, out for the season with an ongoing toe injury.
Michael Duckworth, who returned from a soft tissue injury to make the bench at Oxford, is in contention for a start, although Cooper may want him to get some reserve team football under his belt before throwing him straight back in.
Meanwhile, Simon Walton is suspended for the match after seeing red on Friday for two yellow cards and the Pools boss is light on defensive midfield options.
Cooper was disappointed with Walton’s dismissal, while Jack Compton also gave away a rash foul for the free-free-kick that led to David Connolly heading the winner.
Cooper added: “If you have a lunge at someone or go off your feet you are gambling and that is what we have to avoid.
“Young players have to learn lessons but Jack and Simon are not young players.
“Jack is 25, Simon is 26, they are not young players anymore and unfortunately even at 36 the red mist still descended on me from time to time.
“It can be difficult to bring yourself back to a calm place but that is a lesson for Simon. He is still young enough to learn those lessons.
“The decision is whether we stick with someone in that role or do something different and allow another forward player into the team.
“The chief scout went to the Mansfield game at the weekend and we will be sitting down to see what they had to offer and see what we need to do.”
Cooper could bring Antony Sweeney in but the Pools captain is more attack minded and that would leave them vulnerable to attacks through the middle.
Other options could be playing 20-year-old Lewis Hawkins for his first start of the season or a change in system with Jonathan Franks or James Poole coming in.
Manchester United forward Jack Barmby’s loan spell at Pools comes to an end after tonight, with Cooper expected to try and extend it further.
Meanwhile, 18th-placed Mansfield are only five points behind Pools and go into the game on the back of a credible goalless draw with third-placed Chesterfield.
Mansfield, managed by Paul Cox, have won just once in the last five League Two matches but they have also only lost once in that spell too.
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Burgess, Holden, Walker, Sweeney, Compton, Barmby, James, Harewood.
Subs: Rafferty, Duckworth, Hawkins, Rowbotham, Poole, Franks, Rodney.
Mansfield: Marriott, Beevers, Jennings, Tafazolli, Riley, Dempster, Murray, McGuire, Howell, Rhead, Palmer.
Subs: Sutton, Stevenson, Clucas, Speight, Clements, Meikle, Daniel.
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