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Archived News from April 2003

12th April 2003 15:57

Bristol Evening Post, 12 April 2003

Bristol City and Mansfield Town celebrated the season of goodwill together earlier this season - but there will be no goodwill at Ashton Gate this afternoon. The Stags come to Bristol desperate for points to aid their relegation fight, while City are still chasing automatic promotion.

The importance of the game ensures a tough battle - in stark contrast to the last time the two sides met.

That was back in December, when the players' Christmas parties were held in Nottingham.

City striker Lee Peacock said: "We went up to Nottingham and knew the Mansfield lads would be out because Dutch (Paul Holland) and Mark Lever (former City players) were both there.

"We arranged to meet up and had a good night.

"The lads all get on well off the pitch but come kick off tomorrow it's down to business.

"We need to win because all the teams around us are playing teams at the bottom as well."

Peacock is especially familiar with the Town players, having spent two years at Field Mill earlier in his career before joining Manchester City.

"I loved my time at Mansfield and I've only just sold my house up there," said the marksman.

"I learned a lot while I was there and really enjoyed it.

"There wasn't an expectation to do well and we could relax and play our football.

"It took me a while to settle in, but in my second season it really came together.

"I got 19 goals, even though I was playing in midfield for some of the time.

"The next season I carried on scoring and got my move to Man City."

Mansfield's promotion from the third division last season was built around young players developed by their successful youth policy.

And Peacock knows how talented the youngsters are.

"A lot of the current team were in the youth team when I was there," he added.

"Players like Bobby Hassell, Lee Williamson, Liam Lawrence and Craig Disley were coming through.

"They're all good lads and it was good to see them doing well last season. It's the first result I look for.

"I was very happy for them when they got promoted and I would like to see them stay up.

"Three points is vital for us tomorrow but after we've played them I hope they can get a few wins.

"They are a good attacking team and make a lot of chances, it's just that they have leaked a lot of goals.

"They need to tighten up, but hopefully only after we've played them."

Ironically Peacock could be marked by another former team-mate this afternoon - although Rhys Day is a former Manchester City colleague.

Peacock is expected to be partnered by Christian Roberts up front as Danny Wilson names an unchanged side.

Bristol City (from): Phillips, Stowell, Carey, Butler, Coles, Bell, Murray, Burnell, Doherty, Tinnion, Roberts, Peacock, Rosenior, Beadle, A Brown, Hill, Lita, Fortune, Woodman.


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