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Archived News from April 2003

18th April 2003 15:28

Evening Post, 18 April 2003

Keith Curle today said the new training regime he has introduced this week was not just a response to Saturday's 5-2 defeat at Bristol City.

Players were in at 8am for training in the early part of the week and an extra training session was organised for Sunday. Two players failed to turn up and have been disciplined by the club as Curle emphasised the need for his players to take a more professional attitude.

He said; "It has been a bit of a change for some of the players and certain things have been highlighted.

"It has definitely been beneficial and they haven't been running just for the sake of it.

"They have been all day for a couple of days but that can sometimes be a good thing because if you sit at home all the time you can think about games too much and be down about them.

"When I came here the infrastructure at the club was wrong and I think that can transpire into games.

"But everyone knows the standards that I expect from the players and that everyone will be treated exactly the same."

Evening Post, 18 April 2003

A Week ago, Keith Curle's freshly-painted office wall was covered in league tables and remaining fixtures.

The management team, by their own admission, would spend many a lunchtime looking at them, discussing various scenarios. This week they are in the bin because it doesn't matter what other teams do now.

Curle recognises that other results will be immaterial unless they pick up at least three wins and a draw from their remaining four matches.

Anything less is likely to result in relegation and, typically, Curle remains positive about his team's chances.

Liam Lawrence could come back into the reckoning after serving a two-match suspension for his post-match sending off against Bristol City in November.

But Curle is facing up to a defensive headache as Rhys Day is out with a broken jaw and Adam Eaton waits on a visit to a specialist to see if his hernia requires an immediate operation.

Youngsters Jake Buxton and 17-year-old Alex John-Baptiste are both likely to be in the squad after a series of impressive performances in the reserves.

"We have got a great opportunity to give ourselves a lifeline and we could bring Barnsley within three points of us," said Curle.

"That could mean that everything would change and we could build on that when we go to Blackpool on Monday.

"I said a couple of weeks ago that I thought there was time for a few twists and turns yet and I stand by that."

Curle played 11 games for Barnsley at the start of the season after he had been released by Sheffield United and he believes Glyn Hodges' side will come to Field Mill anxious to gain the points that would see them to safety.

The Tykes remaining fixtures see them face both Crewe and Brentford at home, followed by a trip to promoted Wigan on the final day.

Curle said: "They were mid-table when I went there but they now are battling against the drop, although I think Glyn has done a really good job, considering the resources he has got there.

"By looking at their fixtures, they probably need a win and a draw and they will see this game as a big chance to get that win, because they have got some tough games coming up.

"I would like to think we will produce a really entertaining performance, play some great football and take the points.

"But I don't care if it is a really scruffy affair and we nick it. The result means everything."

Curle said he was still debating which system he was going to play and has not ruled out any of his professional staff, although he did say both Buxton and John-Baptiste had an excellent chance of being involved.

He said: "When one door closes for someone then another opens for someone else.

"They have both done very well and they are looking after themselves in a professional manner.

"I know that if they get the opportunity to play, then they will take it.

"I have got five formations running around my head at the moment but I know that I'm playing and Kevin Pilkington's in goal. I'll think about the rest later."

MANSFIELD (from): Pilkington, Hassell, Curle, Baptiste, Williamson, Lawrence, Corden, Curtis, Disley, Christie, Mendes, Clarke, Buxton, A White, Welch, MacKenzie, Mitchell.

Evening Post, 18 April 2003

The signatures of Mansfield Town footballers are helping victims and survivors of genocide in Rwanda.

A football autographed by the squad is the top prize in a penalty competition held at an Easter Family Fun Day tomorrow at Boughton Pumping Station, Ollerton. All money raised from the day goes to the Rwanda Fund - set up by Notts-based charity Aegis.

The fun day will run from 10am to 4.30pm tomorrow.

The shoot-out prize will be presented by Rwandan genocide survivor Beatha Uwazaninka.


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