Mansfield Town will be missing an influential man when they travel to Highbury this weekend – a figure very familiar to Fleetwood fans.
No club knows better than Fleetwood Town the passion Jamie McGuire brings to the game.
And more than a few will surely be relieved the former Town midfielder won’t be lining up against his former club when Saturday comes.
McGuire ensured he would be watching Saturday’s clash from the stands when he was sent off for a tackle on former Highbury team-mate Danny Rose in the Stags’ 3-1 defeat to leaders Oxford United last weekend.
The 30-year-old, who got his first taste of League Two football with Fleetwood last season before being released in the summer, would love to have been involved.
“It’s just one of those things,” he told The Gazette. “It wasn’t a red card.
“Their players have crowded round and the decision’s been made literally as it’s happened.
“If you see it on the television replay, I don’t think the angle helps. They said I went in two-footed but I haven’t.
“But the club haven’t appealed and I’ll have to watch on Saturday from the stands.”
McGuire was one of a number of Fleetwood players in contention for a new deal over the summer who ended up a victim of boss Graham Alexander’s first-team cull.
An almost ever-present during the club’s first Football League campaign, he’s still got a great affinity with the Highbury club.
“I’ve missed the fans,” he admitted. “They were fantastic during my time at the club and gave me so much support.
“The chairman did too. Whenever I needed help he’d make sure I was seen right.
“He was brilliant for me and I’ve a lot to thank him for.
“I had a great four years at Fleetwood and I’ll always remember those years.
“I still look out for the results – it’s good to see them doing well.”
The Birkenhead-born midfielder wasted no time in finding himself a new home.
And he’s been able to run the rule over his replacements at Highbury – Steven Schumacher, Jeff Hughes, Stewart Murdoch and Antoni Sarcevic.
“They’ve brought in real quality,” said McGuire.
“With the players they’ve got, Fleetwood can win that league.
“They’ve not really got ahead of the pack yet, nobody has.
“But you can see them going on a bit of a run – somebody is going to at some point.”
McGuire is hoping that run won’t start this weekend when the Stags visit Highbury.
He was in the Fleetwood side when the clubs last met, in March 2012, when goals from Jamie Vardy and Shaun Beeley helped Fleetwood to a 2-0 win, extending their lead at the top of the Conference to nine points.
McGuire is hoping Mansfield will be more of a match for Town this time around.
“We’ve got a decent side,” he said. “I expect we’ll go to Highbury and give it a good go. That’s what you want.
“We’ve got some good players, like Sam Clucas.
“Hopefully the gaffer will choose a team to give Fleetwood a game.
“There’s no point going there, putting men in behind the ball and hoping for something.
“We want to give it a real go and try to come back with the points.”