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Archived News from July 2003

CURLE ON COVENTRY GAME
31st July 2003 14:59


From the Evening Post
Curle on Coventry game: "I thought we did very well against a good passing team, causing them plenty of problems. I thought we matched them and both teams will have got plenty out of the game.
"I said before the game that I wanted the players to concentrate on their roles within the team framework and I think they did that."

Curle on Vaughan: "I am absolutely delighted that Tony has agreed to join us because he is very experienced and just the type of player we are looking for.
"He is a very good player and will give us options at the back.
"He has proved he is the right person to fit into the team both on and off the field.
"He has got a very good footballing pedigree and I have been very impressed with his attitude."
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Full Evening Post report:
STAGS REVEAL THE VALUE OF FITNESS
Evening Post, 31 July 2003

Mansfield Town 0 v 1 Coventry City


It's July and schoolchildren are getting to grips with their long holidays, so would it be too much to ask for a pre-season friendly at Mansfield to be accompanied by balmy evening sunshine?

It seems that at Stags, a night-time aperitif for the coming season doesn't go like that.

But, unlike the fixture against Derby last year that was abandoned after 45 minutes in torrential rain, at least the Coventry match was completed - despite it sheeting down for virtually the entire 90 minutes.

It probably wouldn't bother Mansfield boss Keith Curle, though, because he will have got exactly what he wanted from the test against Gary McAllister's outfit.

Well, apart from a favourable result - but that will be of little concern.

Curle will take a great deal from a performance full of determination as his players demonstrated the level of fitness they have reached over the pre-season period.

There was plenty of cause for optimism with the opening day trip to Kidderminster just nine days away, as Curle's side battled gamely in an even match against a side two divisions above them in the league.

They looked pretty assured at the back, with former Rotherham defender Dave Artell and Maltese international Luke Dimech taking the chance to impress and providing food for thought, even in the aftermath of Tony Vaughan's signing.

The midfield demonstrated the sort of tenacity that will serve them well.

The chances are that Stags will be fancied to do quite well but will have to fight all the way and it was evident last night that they haven't lost the habit that served them so well when they were promoted last year.

Tom Curtis and Lee Williamson stopped the Coventry side, which included McAllister in the first half, settling in the middle of the park.

With Williamson in particular, it was like watching the player who earned all the plaudits in the promotion season. It can only prompt optimism.

Up front, Iyseden Christie battled relentlessly against Mo Konjic, who managed the only goal of the game, and, although there were few chances, they still looked dangerous against a team better than those they will face this campaign.

It was noticeable that, although direct when they had to be, there was plenty of neat football on show, dispelling the theory that Curle is just a long-ball merchant.

Curle's decision to bring the players back a week earlier than most clubs also seems to have been vindicated.

He said: "I thought we did very well against a good passing team, causing them plenty of problems. I thought we matched them and both teams will have got plenty out of the game.

"I said before the game that I wanted the players to concentrate on their roles within the team framework and I think they did that."

MANSFIELD: Pilkington, Hassell (Buxton, 85), Dimech (John-Baptiste, 75), Artell, Clarke, Lawrence (MacKenzie, 66), Williamson (Disley, 66), Curtis, Corden (A White, 68), Christie (Beardsley, 81), Larkin (Mendes, 55). Subs not used: Day, J White.

COVENTRY: Shearer, Whing, Warnock (Wengert, 45), Konjic, Davenport, McAllister (Jor gensen, 45), Barrett, Doyle (Pead, 45), Mansouri, Suffo (McSheffrey, 45), Jephcott (Hall, 69).

REFEREE: F Stretton (Nottingham)

ATTENDANCE: 2,819
VAUGHAN SIGNS
Evening Post, 31 July 2003


Mansfield boss Keith Curle has secured his first new signing of the summer after former Nottingham Forest defender Tony Vaughan put pen to paper on a one-year deal at Field Mill.

The 27-year-old defender, who was released by Forest at the end of the season after seeing out the campaign at Motherwell, has been training with the Stags for the last three weeks.

He missed last night's game with a slight ankle injury.

Vaughan played four games on loan at Mansfield last season before picking up an injury in the 2-2 draw at Notts County.

Curle said: "I am absolutely delighted that Tony has agreed to join us because he is very experienced and just the type of player we are looking for.

"He is a very good player and will give us options at the back.

"He has proved he is the right person to fit into the team both on and off the field.

"He has got a very good footballing pedigree and I have been very impressed with his attitude."

Curle also used last night's game to have another look at former Rotherham central defender Dave Artell and Maltese international Luke Dimech.

Dimech, 27, lists Lincoln City, Sliema Wanderers and Shamrock Rovers among his former clubs.

He finished last season with Maltese Premier Division side Birkirkera.

 

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