DAY COULD BE AVAILABLE ON SATURDAY
A Happy Day, but Stags striker hopes fade
Mansfield Town's chances of strengthening their squad before Thursday's transfer deadline are fading.
But they could be boosted by the availability of central defender Rhys Day for Saturdays crucial home six-pointer with relegation rivals Peterborough United.
Despite his call-up for the Welsh U21s against Azerbaijan in Barry on Friday night.
Stags player-manager Keith Curle is scouring the country for new faces - particularly a striker - but has met little success.
But the one bright piece of news he had came during a conversation with Welsh U21 manager Jimmy Shoulder.
"Rhys will still join up with the Welsh squad but I am assured by Jimmy that common sense will prevail," said Curle.
"They have four or five central defenders but they are not all playing first team football. He told me that as long as they have a full quota and don't get injuries then he will use common sense about Rhys.
"Hopefully that will mean he will only play a half or maybe come off if they are winning comfortably.
"Whatever, I believe Rhys will play for us on Saturday, even if I have to drive down there and bring him back myself!"
Day would then be able to link back up with the U21s to fly out to Serbia and Montenegro next Monday for the game in Belgrade on Tuesday.
Otherwise it has been a frustrating weekend for Curle as other results saw Mansfield slip back into the relegation spots and he has so far failed to pull the proverbial rabbit out the hat in his striker search.
"It's not nice to see us slip below that relegation line in the table on our office wall," he said. "In fact I am thinking about moving the line down a little!
"But, with the games we have left, we know our fate is firmly in our own hands.
"We have had no luck in finding a striker as yet. I am looking for a striker who is quite big, mobile, can score goals, and link up play. But most who fit that bill are already playing.
"Maybe I will have to kidnap one and hold him to ransom!
"There are strikers available, certainly. But I won't bring one in for the sake of it - he has to be of value to us.
"The ones we have asked about so far, we have been told they can't come out or don't want to leave the clubs they are with."
But Curle will not be panicking if Thursday's deadline comes and goes.
"It won't all be doom and gloom," he said. "We have scored almost 60 goals this season with the lads we have here already so we are not in dire straits. We do have goals in this football team."
Striker Colin Larkin has suffered a minor setback with his injury after reporting back with a tight hamstring this morning. He has gone off to visit a specialist but it is not thought to be serious.
Larkin promises to deliver
Fit-again Mansfield Town striker Colin Larkin is hoping to play a leading part in the Stags' fight for survival.
Larkin has been plagued by hamstring problems since moving to Field Mill in £125,000 deal from Wolves last summer.
Despite that, the 21-year-old has scored six times in 13 league starts.
He said: "I've been out for a long time and it has been very frustrating.
"I started off with three goals in my first two games and everything was going well but I got the original injury and I haven't been able to get a run going since.
"I think it is still going to take a bit of time for me to be up to full speed but I am on the way back now."
Latest | March 2003